Mirror of Zen Blog

Life During Wartime

Some of our Zen Center Regensburg family have been sending pictures of their home-practice following the livestream during the lockdown..

Social scientists and trend-forecasters are all agreeing that the experience of the pandemic will change our work-lives forever. There will be truly radical changes caused by this historic disruption which will not necessarily return to business-as-usual pro ante, once the virus has been managed. For one thing, firms large and small have seen that working from home can still “work”. Projects and meetings are even more cost-effective now, travel time is reduced, and transportation, hotel, and meal charges might largely be a thing of the past for many occupations — at least, significantly reduced.

In the same way, this could seriously transform Dharma practice. Whereas before, meditation practitioners needed to spend on getting to a local Zen center to keep their practice strong — getting to retreats to boost it — now, over time, there is this new confidence in the power and benefit of maintaining a home-practice.

This is as it should be.

Of course, unlike some business meeting which might have its equivalent, productivity-wise, in a set of Zoom collaborations, there will never be a complete substitute for doing retreat together with others. This will always be very necessary for helping the roots to go deep in practice.

But a daily practice can definitely be maintained at home. And it’s not like this is something that wasn’t told to people over the years, from Ta-Hui’s letters right down to Zen Master Seung Sahn (Dae Soen Sa Nim) and Adyashanti and Thich Nhat Hanh and others.

But the lived experience of pandemic-lockdown practice has given great confidence to people. And that’s a really, really good thing.

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