Attention & Being - A Virtual Meditation Retreat

A student said to Master Ikkyu, “Please write for me something of great wisdom.” Ikkyu picked up his brush and wrote one word: “Attention.”

The student said, “Is that all?” The master then wrote, “Attention. Attention.”

The student became irritable. “That doesn’t seem profound or subtle to me.”

In response, Master Ikkyu wrote simply, “Attention. Attention. Attention.”

In frustration, the student demanded, “What does this word ‘attention’ mean?”

Ikkyu replied, “Attention means attention.”

—Koan Story

 Zen Meditation is called Zazen. Zazen literally means “sitting meditation.” It’s a practice devoted to exploring the embodied mind with a  calm, single focused contemplation. This contemplation allows the profound question “what is the self?” to come alive in you. Sometimes it arises slyly and other times fiercely, like a hawk’s cry echoing through your body. 

In meditation ordinary things grow plainer and stranger simultaneously. It is important to know that “ordinary” is not synonymous with ho-hum, customary or boring. It means ordinary the way a hummingbird stills itself on a tree branch, ordinary like the gentle breeze blowing fields of mustard grasses, mysterious like a baby’s first laugh, or the brilliant shining moon in winter.  

Zazen is focused attention on the mysterious nature of the self, held in the simplicity of being, sitting and breathing.  So simple. And, it takes all that we are, and for as long as we have while living and breathing this life.

Join us for an exploration of the great way of Zen—koans, stories, meditation and conversations. We’re looking forward to it.

Led by Illana Berger, Roshi

Saturday, March 16, 2024 - 9am to 5pm


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