"Zen's ancient teachings seem a mystery to many. But actually, Zen is very simple: Zen means attaining my true self -- "What am I?" In this revolutionary film by acclaimed filmmaker Christine Schmitthenner, we see a Western Zen monk in his daily activities in the world: chanting, meditating, preparing breakfast, riding public transport, meeting with friends, even shaving his head -- from moment to moment, not attached to conceptual thinking, everything is Zen, which just means everything is "moment." The subject of this unusual film, Hyon Gak Sunim, allowed filmmakers to follow his daily living and teaching activities for a week as he met with students and organized his daily activities. Sunim is widely recognized as one of the most influential Zen monks in modern Korean Buddhist history, a graduate of Yale and Harvard who entered the monastic life in 1992 and has done over 20 years of intensive Zen training in the ancient Zen temples of Korea. His enlightenment was certified ("inka") in a public ceremony in 2001 by his teacher, the legendary Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927-2004). Now based in the West, he wanders the world, teaching wherever invited".
what is zen? from 915industrygallery on Vimeo.
"A GREAT video about Zen meeting Ashtanga at our recent retreat in Rethymno, Greece. Wanna see the soft, wide world of yoga meet the laser-like technology of Zen? Please share this video! Please share this video! Just another amazing work of art by Alessandro Sigismondi.... "
While on the topic of Ashtanga and Zen, I've been looking at Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida, keep hearing about this book, thought I should finally get around to ordering it.
This book is interesting in that it looks in detail at the actual practice of Zazen, the posture, the breath. But what struck me most was that in In the preface the editor presents the author as discussing the purpose of Zen training, why put oneself through such a rigorous process....that struck me as a question we might ask of ourselves in our Ashtanga practice. Have a look at the following passage and just substitute Ashtanga for Zen while reading.
Up early for practice, trying to get into the habit of practising before opening the new shala Monday. On a trial run this week with M. getting up for her Ashtanga class at 6am (yawn).