Mondo with Roland Yuno Rech - Godinne, November 2021
Question: You said this morning that the true mind is beyond appearances and dogmas … But, seen from the outside, one might think that Zen remains attached to appearances and external forms ...
Roland Yuno Rech: This may seem strange, but in fact we need forms to concentrate on them. But that doesn't mean we have to become attached to them. And this starts with the posture itself. In some schools, no importance is given on posture and people are told: "Just sit comfortably, at ease", no particular posture is prescribed.
The disadvantage is that it makes it more difficult to let thoughts pass. Meditations in which posture is not emphasized tend to leave practitioners alone to cope with their mental ruminations. That is to say, even if this kind of meditation is an observation - which is not so bad - it is not an observation that really allows liberation.
Even if we teach that thoughts are emptiness, have no substance, even if we can understand it intellectually, if we lack a deep concentration on the body, it is very difficult mentally to let go … and finally it is much more difficult to meditate.
In the end, concentration on the posture, instead of being an attachment, is what favors detachment. The same is true - and this is even more interesting - for your daily life: often in daily life, as soon as you leave the dojo and stop concentrating on the body, you tend to be taken over by your preoccupations. So, at the end, you have two lives: one in the dojo, where you are more or less able to concentrate and find peace of mind, and one where you go back to everyday life, where you are grasped by your thoughts and your preoccupations.
Whereas if rituals are taught - obviously without exaggeration, without becoming attached to them, but simply practicing them naturally - these rituals facilitate the link between daily life and meditation. During ceremonies, we have to pay attention to our movements and also to others, to be in harmony. It is therefore an excellent transition between zazen (which could be practiced alone) and our social life.
In social life, we often have to act in connection with others and it is good to be able to be in empathy with them, to harmonize with them. Performing ceremonies will helps us in this.
Moreover, in all civilizations, humanity invented ceremonies and this certainly corresponds to this need to harmonize, to find peace together. So, ceremonies are not a ritualistic attachment, they have a much deeper function.
Tags: Roland Yuno Rech