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Upon finishing the very compelling and informative "Three Pillars of Zen" I wanted to look into whether or not Zen sittings were held at any of the Buddist temples in Winnipeg. What I found out was that Zazen sittings are being organized, from my understanding, for the first time for lay people starting Saturday at 0930 at 761 Westminster and regularly there after Monday to Friday from 0630-0730.
I think this being available now is speaking volumes to my fatalist sensibilities. Everything happens for a reason and it seems that me discovering this now when my path in Aikido has been taken from me is nothing less than a sign. Aside from finding this new path is available for me at a time that is convenient for my family I understand that there will be a Sesshin organized at a later date for those who wish to delve more seriously into themselves using zazen. Sesshin is overseen by a Roshi, or Zen master, to help guide you to Kensho (enlightenment) through the use of intense zazen and Koans (Zen riddles such as what is the sound of one hand clapping). According to the book there are many stages of kensho, and it could take years to get to even the first stage.
I think spiritually this is something that I have been looking for. I hope that no obstacles stand in my way on this path. I will keep you all informed.
You will all now hear an admission of a rather unusual bad habit that I have had, and wrestled with, all my life. I am a perpetual motion machine. To be more specific I rock. No I don't mean I'm constantly playing the air guitar and bobbing my head to some unheard music, though it's not far from the truth. What I mean by rocking is that I can't sit in a chair without rocking back and forth in it. I have never liked it but have never been able to control it. As a kid in my teens I always hoped that I would just grow out of it, but I am into my forties now and still rock. All who know me well have seen me rock often and most think nothing of it any more. Those who don't know me must think I'm a little off when first they witness this odd physical tic.
Why am I telling you this? It's because I have noticed that the calmness that I train and strive for in my Aikido training is beginning to calm my habit of rocking. This is only just beginning mind you, but is happening just the same.
Before I started training in Aikido I was totally oblivious to my rocking habit when it started while sitting watching TV, or reading something on the computer at work, until someone made a comment about it. Now as part of my own training out of the dojo I am consciously and constantly trying to find my one point and in turn that relaxes my shoulders first then other parts of my body follow. When this happens that "need" to rock gets washed away. I sit there in my chair reveling in the stilln