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Wash away the discriminating shadow...
Harada Roshi

New Dialogue

Question:

When we get older it feels like we do not need the pressure of a sesshin anymore. Zen training seems to be mainly for the young ones. Should there be sesshins for older sangha members? How can we continue training? Thank you.

Answer:

There is of course the difference between a Pro and an Amateur. The Pro has the responsibility to raise the next generation, and for that he gives his whole life, also forgetting about the problems of the body, or else it would be difficult to continue. Of course, there are also limits to our body, so how long even a Pro can continue, only time will tell.
Yet everyday is filled with complete joy. That is how we can continue. Also thinking about the older sangha members was the reason for me to start Samu sesshins. Because all what a sesshin is about is Group Prayer. We not only have the challenges of the physical body as we get older, but our mind also can become more complex and lonely. And then even more so, it is important to have a sangha around, and even just for a short time to sit together in silence, praying together, letting the mind be peaceful again. I think it does not have to be for a whole week, neither the whole schedule. That kind of prayer sesshin is also fine, I believe.


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