"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
- Shunryu Suzuki
What is Pop Up Zendo?
The Pop Up Zendo is ethereal. If the entire world is a sacred place, then the point of a Pop Up Zendo is something that shows up in the midst of everyday life, in our homes, in a disused storefront or a conference room. It provides a simple foundation where people can sit together, learn meditation, learn the basics of personal practice, and reimagine the way in which we might live in this world. Most of the time it appears to be a collection of duffel bags inside a room in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
In reality, it is mostly something that is carried inside the hearts of people trying to bring the very best of themselves to the things right in front of them, practicing something we like to call mindfulness, trying to learn from two worlds, and making their best effort to act in accord with the world around them.
simply to point out that what we think we are looking for is already here. It's a kind of mirage that
is a form that manifests in places where maybe you didn't think that a zen temple was going to be and is a container for things you might not have thought a zen temple contains.
The Pop Up Zendo is ethereal. Most of the time it appears to be a collection of duffel bags inside a room in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
What is Living Zen?
Living Zen focuses on connections. Despite the ideal of the solitary monk, Zen practice has evolved as a communal practice, a life within a sangha. It's an interpersonal exploration of how to practice within the myriads of encounters that we have with people as an opportunity for growth.
How do we practice Real World Zen?
To understand the practice of Zen in the "real world," it's helpful to take a fresh new approach to this ancient art of practice. Neuroscientists have documented many compelling benefits associated with practices such as meditation and mindfulness. Historically these practices have been handed down from monks that have been practicing in temples. Pop Up Zendo takes the essence of these teachings and practices to help students develop their practice in the midst of their busy life, in surroundings that are convenient to them. In essence, a monastery without walls.
What are the essential elements to the practice of Zazen?
Zen is about cultivating mindfulness in all of our activity. It's what spontaneously arises whenever you do three things. 1) Pay Attention, 2) Focus that attention on the here and now, 3) Stay Curious. A quiet room is suitable and a sitting place to put a mat and cushion. Sit, then place your right hand on your left leg and your left hand on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly touching. Straighten your body and sit upright. Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof of your mouth, with teeth together and lips shut. Always keep your eyes open, and breathe softly through your nose. Take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking. Not thinking-what kind of thinking is that? Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen.