Monthly Archives: June 2011

Leegte (Emptiness; a post in Dutch this time)

Hier op de Hobbitstee waar ik op dit moment leef, staat een kleine Zendo ?. Een mooi gebouwtje, eenvoudig, met een mooie en fijne vloer en een warme uitstraling. De meditatieruimte biedt plaats aan veertien tot wel twintig mensen om tegelijk zazen ? te doen. Om kinhin ? ook mogelijk te houden, zou je de groep moeten beperken tot 14 mensen, misschien 16.

—-[ edit: 5 juli 2011 ]—-
Zie voor alle relevante informatie verder mijn nieuwe pagina over Zen-meditatie.

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80 Marbles

Sometimes ideas just grow by themselves. 80 Glass marbles popped up from the sandy soil and now I have no idea what to do with them. But maybe other people do. So here goes:

What to do with 80 marbles?

The intention is to come up with an idea that is both playful and beneficial for all involved. The best idea will be carried out. So have a shot! What to do with 80 marbles?

Mind control

I keep talking to people who think my Zen Buddhist training will ultimately give me a clear and silent mind. “Not thinking is surely a marvelous thing, is it not?” they ask, assuming I’m on my way there and surely experiencing some of it every once in a while. And then with a sigh “If only I could enter such serenity.” Hastily they add “But I am way too restless to ever meditate seriously and gain such control over my mind.”

Said the Buddha:

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

Looking at human behavior there is nothing out there you can imagine, that is not really done by someone too. No matter how horrible or how great your fantasy, it gets done. If not by you, it gets done by someone else. Cruelty, rescue, humiliation, jealousy, greed, care, torture, kindness, racism, unconditional love. It’s all in my head. And in yours and in everybody’s heads. And given certain conditions it comes out as action.
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Nothing to fight

Yesterday my head started to hurt me. I’ve got a mild sunburn on my shoulders and neck, and I thought that’s where it came from. Later on I reckoned it was a mild migraine, but then I realized I could look straight into the sun without so much as blinking one eye. So a migraine it was not.

This morning I just couldn’t get out of bed. I felt so tired and my body just wanted to lie down. Lie flat. Not moving.
But I got up anyway. I’ve got a dog and he needs food, water and some walking every once in a while. So we walked a little stretch.

As I came home and settled in front of the computer, I was sweaty and feeling cold. Just minutes later I had to unshoe my feet, because I was seriously overheating all of a sudden.

And that’s when I knew: I’m down with some virus of some sort. As soon as I realized, I stopped the struggle against the overall fatigue. I yawn when I feel like it. I burp and sigh when opportune, to ease the sickness in my stomach somewhat. I rub my eyes as they prick and burn a bit. I support my head with my hands, because it feels heavy. Continue reading

To study the self in three important questions

During my monastic retreat at the International Zen Center ‘Noorder Poort’ The teacher, Jiun Hogen roshi, trained me to ask myself questions when ever there was emotion or thought arising in such a way it became a story on itself. Three questions in particular helped me to study myself:

  1. Where do you feel that?
  2. Why is that important for you?
  3. How does this benefit you?

Where do you feel that?

When I first came to live at the ‘Noorder Poort’, I used to express my feelings like “I am sad” and “I am upset” or “I am happy”. Expressing myself in that way, I identified completely with my emotions.
Asking myself “Where do you feel that?” gave me the opportunity to experience emotions in a different way. “I feel sadness and it is a cramp in my belly.” is quite different from “I am sad.” “I feel anger and it is like suffocation around my throat and it makes a frown on my face.” “I feel happiness and it is tinkling on my skin and in my stomach and makes a smile on my face.” “I feel stress and it is like pressure on my bladder and it lifts my shoulders a bit.”

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“I take refuge…”

"I take refuge..."


Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Dhammam Saranam Gacchami

Sangham Saranam Gacchami