Body with no tension, mind with no intention
For me this was the leitmotif for the last Ango period. Constantly mentioned by Master Yvone Myoken Bec this is a consistent expression of how one should see the Zen practice.
If you don’t know, ango is a traditional intensive training period that is common for many Zen schools.
In the Eastern Europe it has been divided in 4 periods, of 10 days each, where the monks, bodhisattvas, and lay people can meet and practice together.
The sesshin is held each year during the summer at Hoboji, a temple located near Pilisszentlászló, Hungary, and its conducted by Master Yvone Myoken Bec.
Now, for modern people*, and I make no exception, the place and the practice itself are pretty rough given the long Zazen’s and the poor conditions offered by the temple. But, if one will stay at least one period, than at some point he or she most certainly gets over these inconveniences and starts to see the things a bit more clear, with the eyes of a bird.
For example impermanence becomes graspable in terms of understanding it. Is like sweeping the dust from the mirrors, where the mirror is the truth and dust is the millions and trillions of thoughts that stops us to see beyond ’em.
Somehow these kind of retreats will give you the chance to scratch the surface of your own mirror, but bear in mind that the dust will constantly cover whatever you’ve removed. That’s why the Zen practice has to continue over and over till it becomes part of your daily life.
Now, getting back to the sesshin I think that the kusens were and are the core thing of the Zen practice. Don’t get me wrong, everything is equally important, but the kusens are vital, especially for the beginners. So this sesshin was rich in teachings from both Master Yvone Myoken Bec and Master Vincent Keisen Vuillemin who held a teisho on becoming a Bodhisattva.
These and other things that culminated with monk and Bodhisattva ordinations have happened in this year ango, but I’m not going to list them here. I just want to stir a bit your curiosity and hopefully put you on a track to the closest dojo.
So, I will end up with a link to some photos and sutras that have been recorded at the 2016 Hoboji summer ango.
Photos – Ango at Hoboji, 2016
Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo & Gojushichi Butsu
* people having access and using modern technologies