At Sydney’s request, I have been teaching Zen meditation (zazen) at KenKon since 2003. In my spiritual journey through the world of Zen, I have had various teachers. At the moment, my teacher is Ton Lathouwers, who has recognised me as a teacher in his chan (Chinese for Zen) tradition, called Maha Karuna. Maha Karuna means compassion in Sanskrit. The Chinese form of of Zen that I practice is inspired by this compassion, and is therefore much softer and more pleasant than Japanese Zen. The first thirty years of my Zen training, however, have been in the Japanese style, something that shows in my practice. Besides, I am currently married to someone who practices the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which has taught me yet another perspective on the path of spirituality. The final goal of all of these styles, is similar, namely the resolution of the concept of self (anatman), and realising the temporariness of things (anicca) in my life. I take inspiration from, among others, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ton Lathouwers, Eihei Dogen Zenji, Kentin Tai Situpa and Mingyur Rinpoche. Over the years, I have gathered a lot of knowledge on Zen and other forms of Buddhism as a religion, as well as its history. But in Zen, it’s not about the knowledge, or even the experience. It’s about the authentic realisation of who you are in your core, but cannot normally fathom. Ton calls this ‘meeting heart to heart’. He means not only meeting the other, but also reality in its entirety, from the heart, open, and without any prejudice or preconceptions. Like a young baby, but with all the knowledge and experience of your unique life.

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