Ask-A-Godo

7 Items

Ask-A-Godo: How do we reconcile those who want to practise Zen as a religion and those who don’t?

Often, when I give a talk, somebody asks: “Zen, Buddhism … are they a religion?” And I often reply, “As you like.” You can practise zazen as a technique for well-being, to feel better, to have a more interesting life, to be happier. That’s possible. It is also possible that you will achieve those goals to a greater or lesser extent.

Ask-A-Godo: What is Ku?

Someone from the British sangha has asked the question that a godo does not really want to answer. It is very difficult, in fact, to explain in a few lines what is covered by this word that refers to the foundation of the universe, the essence of each thing, ultimate reality…

Ask-A-Godo: In Soto Zen there is great emphasis on correct posture. Why is this?

The knees press the earth, the head the sky. The lower back is stretched and erect, the head is straight on the shoulders, which fall naturally, as does the gaze. And the breathing: the exhalation is deep and long, the inhalation is short and vital. If you can manage to concentrate on, say, the position of the thumbs, or on the exhalation of air, for any length of time – and all of this while thinking-not-thinking