My Awakening At The Baptist Zen Center Essay

1809 Words Oct 18th, 2016 8 Pages
My Awakening began with a visit to the Missouri Zen Center in Webster Groves. I have a family connection to Zen Buddhism through my niece and nephew. This piqued my curiosity of what it was like inside a temple or center for Buddhism. I made the decision before going that I would follow Eihei Dogan’s quote and “To forget the self is to be awakened by all things” this way I would have a clear mind of my experience. The center is in a tranquil setting in a Victorian house tucked up a hill surrounded by aged trees. I arrived early thus allowing time to read over the instructions for beginners posted on the front door. Other novices began to trickle up the walk until there was about fifteen of us. The student teacher opened the door promptly at 6:30 pm and instructed us all to remove our shoes and place them on the racks provided. I thought this was just a mark of respect or religious etiquette but learned more was behind the practice. I learned Zendo is what you call a Zen Center. You enter very quietly and being mindful of the alignment of the zafus and zabutons which I will explain what they are later. We enter the hall from the left side, then you bow which is called monjin. Entering on your right foot first, you then walk clockwise around the edge to your sitting place which is called the tan. Our teacher was dressed in the traditional robe just like the photos and traditions we learned about in lecture. For the first half hour he walked us through what we were to expect…

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