LIVE ZEN, WITH TAI-CHI, FOR A GLOBAL WELLNESS
An experience in a Zen retreat, in touch with thousand-year old pure nature, is the way to retrieve your inner peace and harmony. Tai-Chi (also known as Tai-Ji), the ancient Chinese meditation technique, provides global summer wellness. On August 15th, I spent the whole day at Sanboji, the Temple of the three jewels, in Berceto (Parma), and I lived for two days within the monastic and lay community following the Zen path. Their leader is Tetsugen Serra, founder of this Zen retreat located in the heart of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, and founder of Il Cerchio– Ensoji monastery in Milan. I experienced all the daily practices shared and assigned by zen monks, such as: wake up together and meditate at dawn in order to achieve communion; live in silence and peace to retrieve your own time; tend a garden to go back to the roots of mother nature; walk aware in the woods to get in touch with the ground element; live monks’ rituals to share meals belonging to the zen tradition; respecting shifts to clean, tidy up common spaces and wash dishes, in order to respect the value of fraternity among human beings; watch falling stars, to nurture the astonishment for and contemplation of nature. Wise masters advice to try something new every day, so during my stay I could experiment for the very first time Tai Chi Chuan, also known as Tai Ji Quan. I am deeply grateful to Roberto Galli, aka “Galli San”, who has taught Tai Ji for 30 years, lived in Tokyo for one year, guided by a famous Zen Buddhism Master, and was awarded with a gold medal at Shanghai International Tournament in 1992. Nowadays, this thousand-year old Chinese discipline is practiced all over the world, especially in parks in the morning. It encapsulates martial arts, meditation in movement, and therapeutic gymnastics. It supports the personal growth of individuals and stimulates the meridians. Literally, Tai-Chi means “supreme ultimate fist” and relies on the Taoist principles of yin and yang.
The course addressed novices like me, beginners, and experienced participants. I really enjoyed the group’s energy and happiness, during both “Patuan-Chin” healthy exercises, i.e. eight pieces of brocade, and the time shared in common spaces. Roes and badgers also pay a visit to the monastery to meditate, in harmony with the rhythm of nature, among woods of oaks, beech, locust, and cherry trees that bloom in spring in a sort of oriental show. Under a huge cherry tree master Tetsugen gave his lessons, by reading ancient Zen stories, such as “Rubbing a brick”. Zen is not a pathway to knowledge or development of cognitive skills; it is a simple pathway to awareness, enabling a person’s evolution. To clear yourself of thousand cloche, in simplicity, is the best way to approach the universe and yourself. According to Master Tetsugen Serra, who inspired Mindfulzen, one of Zen’s main goals is to help all human beings to retrieve their inner freedom, through a pathway of love and compassion, to simplify their way of living and adopt the language of their heart and mind. ZaZen meditation means “sit simply”. It is a practice of silent enlightenment and enables you to wake up for you True Life, which is sincere and free, by overcoming all sufferings that result from attachment and bias and discovering your true original nature.
In sacred places like Sanboji you can appreciate absolute silence. When you enter mental silent you access a state of non-intellectual communication, where your mind calms down, words come out spontaneously, purely, and straight, and communication occurs from heart to heart, in the absolute absence of any ego. An ancient sentence is framed on a wall in the monastery, reading “… do not sit waiting for enlightenment, as the great enlightenment can be found in daily activities, like eating or drinking tea. It is the endless practice of being free in anything you do, whatever it is. This one-day life is a life to cherish… If you lose this one day in a 100-year life, will you ever get it back?” Then, are you ready to dive in the deep beauty of your being, to live Zen, in peace and serenity? Contemplate your life: experience Tai-Chi, try Zazen meditation, retrieve harmony, and live free and creative. 100% Zen! 100% tailored on your being! Raphaella Dallarda (INSPATIMEBLOG)