We held a Zazen Meditation workshop at our Ozo Base on Saturday, April 8. Participants from India, Iran, Algeria, South Sudan, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, as well as Japan, experienced Zazen and flower viewing, essential elements of Japanese culture.
After learning the proper seated posture, the participants began their Zazen experience. For the first set, they sat and contemplated nothingness, for the second set they experienced the Keisaku, a wooden stick used to gently strike meditators who request it to improve their concentration, and for the third set, they thought about their goals for the year. It was most participants’ first time trying Zazen, and they took it very seriously.
Afterward, we worked together in the rice field. Today’s job was to remove roots from a formerly abandoned rice field that we are reclaiming. Our laughing voices echoed into the mountains, and we created several piles of retrieved roots.
After our work was over, we had lunch under the cherry blossoms. In a piece of perfect timing, the rain stopped right before we began our work, so we got to enjoy the beautiful sight of vibrant cherry blossoms fresh with new rain.