This young man from Seoul will be joining our three-day intensive silent retreat at ZCR this weekend. I met him last week during the visit to Korea, and he contacted us just now and asked to join our experience this week. Fortunately for him, there was a sudden cancellation.
Usually, with beginners, a big part of my concern needs to be extended to whether or not they can handle the regimen of 10 hours per day of formal practice. This is especially true if I have no previous sense of their practice. I had heard that he is also a yoga teacher, but that is never a guarantee: some people who have had the hardest, most physically intimidating experiences in a Zen retreat, in my experience, have been experienced teachers of yoga, believe it or not.
So, our team needed to do a little research. We actually curate these events pretty closely.
Scrolling through his social media presence, I’m guessing now he won’t have at least some of the usual problems with the extensive sittings.
My students in Korea informed us that the young man is an up-and-coming top model, active in Asia and Europe. He will take a bus down to Regensburg immediately following a big photo shoot in Berlin.
Still, there is no guarantee that flexibility of body, in itself, is even the slightest guarantee that someone can persevere through the vagaries of their own restless thinking-mind as it settles, over several days (many filled with uncontrollable imagery and unfiltered remembrance), into the infinite stillness of our Now-nature. As I said, I have experienced several boldface-name yoga teachers actually shorten their commitment to retreat here after finding the work of sitting meditation to be far too difficult for them to handle. This, despite their decades of work in the Buddhism-adjacent field of yoga , the very mother from which Buddhism sprang!
But it’s certainly inspiring that a man of his age and social/professional flow is willing to take the dive, isnt it? We will do our best to help him find his latent inner-seed that animates his flexible stalk. I am motivated to do everything possible to guide him back to his unborn root.