Yearbook 2008


Daniela (Germany, 31yo, Secretary of the Tibetan Centre in Hamburg)

Dear Friends,

First I like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some words in the new yearbook of Antaiji.

Muho-san was in Berlin for a short Sesshin I took part in Summer 2008. I was very happy that he practiced Zazen with a group of us from all over Germany and around. I was really wondering how strong the practice of all the participants was. We sat only a few hours a day not like Antaiji-Style. There I realised how fast I forgot the rules of Antaji, not every rule but some important ones, some rules that are obviously connected with zazen. I will tell you what I mean here:

In Antaiji we had strong rules for taking meals. We sat not only together at the same time, at the same table with the same food, but also we all sat and ate in silence, we all prayed before and after the meal, we bowed if we want some more rice etc. and after finishing our fast eating we had to wait for everybody (nobody liked it when the group was waiting and realising that you are the last one, especially if you are a newcommer at Antaiji) and so on. These kind of practices need some awareness and concentration.

At the Sesshin in Berlin we did not plan a meal together but there was once an opportunity to sit together and eat. Firstly, I thought it was an informal setting. I had this idea in my mind and did not realise how the group organised a formal setting even though I was in the same room or a second room nearby. For me it was not so easy to see what is really going on but with respect to all the participants there I should have seen. Only very few people started to eat small things like a piece of apple but the majority waited until the table has been set. I didn't see these things, but realised this later. I was not really open to the group. I was not a part of it. You can say I was too introverted.

That is something that can not happen if you are really aware, if you are really concentrated and open minded. At Antaiji I learned deeper than ever that zazen should not be seen as separated from your daily activities. At the Sesshin in Berlin I forgot these obviously. Of course nobody is perfect and for me it was a lesson that showed me how important the regular practice of zazen or the zazen mind in other daily activities for changing one's customs is.

So I am going on to train myself in these practices of awareness and concentration. I am convinced it will help me, and hopefully some of the people I am living with on this little earth to find peace and happiness.

Best greetings from Hamburg, Germany. Daniela

Switch to Japanese Switch to French Switch to German Switch to Spanish