Corey Ichigen Hess

‘Many of us hear or read that we must let go in our practice. But we worry that if we let go of our calculating mind, our smart manipulating mind, we’ll be helpless or depleted. We’ll be fragile or let everyone down.  We’ll be a fool, banging into things as we walk and constantly saying the wrong thing. We think that letting go is the most frightening thing, because we are controlling our environment to feel safe and worthy and acknowledged…

In the monastery one becomes used to living and having no understanding of what is happening. We might be asked at any moment to do something we are totally unprepared for.  We become comfortable with uncertainty, having no clue what is going on. We begin to live more in our bodies, more basic, fresh to our experience.  We are trained in a physical practice to realize how to function from a place of having no idea what is going on. In sanzen the Roshi would stop me if I reached out with my mind or If I tried to answer a koan from a mental place. If I tried to understand the practice mentally.  Every day he tapped his head and said: “Isn’t here”. (from Zen Embodiment)


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