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Back to Zen (again)

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Back to Zen (again)

Postby dbranch on Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:47 am

Hello all,

Though I will always be a Christian, and will continue to find a Catholic or Episcopal parish to join, I can't stay away from Zen.

One problem: my back. It's moderately kyphotic. And sitting hurts. A lot.

I don't wanna lie down.
I want unity with the other practitioners.
I want to sit.

You guys can't cure my back condition, but if you have any thoughts or ideas I'd love to hear em.

Some Catholics who answer to the title "Zen Master" are:

Robert Kennedy
Ruben Habito
Thomas Hand (rip)

and Thomas Merton wasn't a master, but he got into Zen.

David :Namaste:
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Re: Back to Zen (again)

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:13 am

Hi - does standing static for say 1/2 hr hurt your back?

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Re: Back to Zen (again)

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:53 am


To the list of transmitted Zen Buddhist teachers who are also Catholic priests one can add the late Fr. Patrick Hawk, Roshi, a Dharma heir of Robert Aitken Roshi, in the Diamond Sangha lineage. Pat passed away a few years ago, and was my teacher here for 20 years, at the first Diamond Sangha affiliate sangha (there are over 20 affiliates worldwide now). Pat was of the Redemptorist Catholic order.

I understand about the want to sit comfortably with others. I think a very effective way to proceed to explore and to find something to suit would be to work with a licensed physical therapist (even if insurance might not cover the cost). Maybe only a few sessions would suffice to hit upon a discovery of a suitable posture. Thus, a few hundred dollars could set you up for life. If you do this, and have at home typical cushions that you use or would use in group practice, it would be good to bring these to PT sessions so the therapist can know exactly what's involved with the sitting conditions (or maybe it's a bench you favor).

Best wishes! The subject is near and dear to my heart, because I try to help practitioners with posture and physical practices wherever I go (or stay... ), as this is what my root teacher, the late Ch'an Master Sheng Yen, trained me to do, and what I've done since 1980 for practitioners in any meditative or contemplative tradition. I am also a Yoga teacher. I don't often work with people with known back problems, though. This is why I strongly suggest working with a good PT to find a workable accommodation. Be safe! And thorough.

Hmm, I like the pun in "Back to Zen". ;)

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