“Zen is to transcend life and death (all dualism), to truly realize that the entire universe is the “True Human Body,” through the discipline of “mind and body in oneness.” Miyamoto Niten (Musashi) called it Iwo no mi* (body of a huge boulder—going through life rolling and turning like a huge boulder); Yagyu Sekishusai named it Marobashi no michi* (a bridge round like a ball—being in accord with the myriad changes of life). Besides this actual realization, there is nothing else.
Zen without the accompanying physical experience is nothing but empty discussion. Martial ways without truly realizing the “Mind” is nothing but beastly behavior. We agree to undertake all of this as the essence of our training.
All our students, strive diligently! Gentlemen of the Rinzai Honzan (Main Temple) in Japan, open your eyes to this and together let us send it out to the world.”
Archbishop Omori Sogen Rotaishi,
Dated 1 October 1979
The Chicago Zen group at the Japanese culture center is made up of zen practitioners from various formal practices. Members unite once a week for two hours for zazen (quiet sitting meditation) and body work (including martial arts, yoga, hara development, etc.) Incorporating the two, we open our bodies to the fullest potential of breath and body alignment to deepen our practice.