Mirror of Zen Blog

A Zen Retreat

“What Sees This?” by Jayoon Choi

Many people wonder what it is like to sit a Zen retreat. And others question whether an urban Zen center can ever possibly convey the depth of mountain-temple experience in the middle of a thriving, throbbing city. Several years ago, the London-based artist Jayoon Choi came to Zen Center Regensburg to pursue her own intensive Zen study. After several retreats, she offered to capture the essence of the silent inwardly-seeking mind, using her skills as visual artist, trained at the Royal College of Art. This birthed several short filmic portrayals, one of which is “What Sees This?”

The film was dedicated to the memory of Kerstin Zeise (1965-2018), the former Director of ZCR and one of its co-founders, who passed away from breast cancer in March 2018. Where is she now? This has become such a powerful teacher for everyone in the community. The film is Jayoon’s offering to the work of looking into this Great Question of Life and Death — or, Zen. We are very grateful to have it.

Zen retreat is not difficult, not easy. Zen retreat means just do it, moment to moment. “What sees this?” What hears that? What controls my breathing? Reflecting on this, there only appears “don’t know.” Keep this mind, anytime and anyplace, and then anywhere is already a very good Zen retreat for you.

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