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Freed  開放される

I heard a guest speaker “S” at the Zen meditation I attend every week.  According to the brief introduction, this woman, perhaps in her 40s-50s, was born to a poor Hindu family in India. Her mother died when she was age 5, and her father committed suicide when she was 10.  Later on, somehow, she was educated in an Islamic school, then moved to Canada.  In Canada, she was educated in a Catholic school.  She is a yoga master, and has been practicing Zen meditation for many years.  She has lived in Hindu, Islam, Catholic, and Buddhism environments.  She is so grateful about her multi-religious upbringing and multi-cultural life environment that she created a spiritual house and donated it to the community to be used for various spiritual events.

I probably did not understand 100% of what she said, due to my poor comprehension.  However, I tried to summarize her talk and it was something like this, hopefully not too far from her actual talk.


Everybody has some kind of trauma experience in their lives.  It could be something that happened in your childhood that was so scary, shocking, or so sad….

After many years, you might not remember the particular incident, but somehow your body remembers it, and you find yourself unexpectedly reacting to it.

For example, suppose you had the experience of almost being drowned in the ocean when you were a little child, and suppose you are now a grown-up and have gone to a beach to have fun.  All of a sudden, you find that your feet are frozen, and you can’t walk toward the water.  You might have forgotten the childhood trauma, but your body remembered it.

In S’s case, her trauma of losing her parents as a child resulted in holding the strong fear of abandonment.

So…. something happens to you, and there is a result/consequence from that, and the experience becomes part of you.

Every being has vibration.  Your vibration is created by your life experience.  So, that means, your vibration includes your trauma.

It sounds rather hopeless.  How do you get rid of your trauma?

You need to rewind your life and in your own mind, re-live your negative experience all over again.  Until you overcome the experience, the reaction like your feet becoming frozen at the beach, will not go away.

However, S says, there is actually another way of overcoming your trauma.  That is to change your vibration.

It is interesting that vibrations have the power of attracting other people, places, and even events that have similar waves to yours.

You might be making friends who are similar …. you might be making similar mistakes over and over …. you might be reacting in similar ways when you face certain situations…. you might be noticing that you have been hit on by similar types of guys/girls, …. your marriages have failed and you notice that you had actually married a same person with different face(s)….

Can any of these be true for you?

When you change your vibration, naturally, your relationships with people, your environment, and what happens around you start to change.

Your life starts to change.

And, one of the ways to change your vibration is to meditate.


When I think back on my life, there was certainly a period of time i was not happy. Perhaps it was the early 1990s. I felt like being stuck in mud and extremely frustrated. I had no sense of fulfillment, but had lots of struggles and was very lonely. During that time, surely, unpleasant things happened to me over and over.  Many people with the same purposes approached me insistently. My stress level was rising to the point my health was affected. Too bad I didn’t know about Zen.  However, I did become aware of the chain of negativities in my life, and was determined to cut that chain.  That was when I was able to change myself, and my life started to shift.

Zen meditation can bring you to this “right this moment”, from some “past” trauma or “future” uncertainties and worries.





















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Nothingness (Mu) 無

I started Zen meditation in February this year.  For a long time I had been longing to learn how to meditate.  I didn’t want to just do it myself in my own way, I wanted to actually learn the proper way and the philosophy behind it.  There are so many types of meditation and I had no idea which one was suited for me.

I have a serious issue that I have been struggling with for so long.  While performing music, some totally idiotic thought-like thing suddenly pops into my head, or some cloud of anxiety or fear, all of a sudden, instantly blackens my mind, or…. whatever…., if I let it then my concentration cracks, that’s the moment I screw up the performance big time…..

“Why does this happen to me so often?

I have not practiced enough? ….probably.

Am I overly self conscious? …..possible.

What is it that pokes up into my head and disturbs my concentration?

Is it something to do with my ego?

What is ego anyway?

I’m not trying to make myself look good or anything.  At least I’m not conscious about it….. How do I get rid of my ego?”

Then, one day a thought came to me.  Perhaps I should study the concept of “emptiness” or “nothingness” in Buddhism.  Buddhist meditation might help me get rid of this horrible ego.  So, I went online to search, and found “Northshore Zendo”.

It was the first Monday of February, a sunny white morning after an overnight of heavy snow.  Everything was frozen and sparkling.  When I arrived at the Zendo at the top of the mountain in North Vancouver, a tall skinny caucasian man in his late 50s was shovelling the snow. He was the priest Hoben.  For two hours I listened to him, feeling like my whole body had turned into ears.  I listened about some philosophy of Zen, basic style of Zen meditation, how to sit, breathe, get grounded….

It was, indeed, an eye opening experience.  You know…I was born in Japan, and all my relatives except my parents were Buddhist. I don’t know why I had never developed any interest in Buddhism or Zen.  Very odd.  However, what Hoben said sounded so natural, so logical, and so practical to me. Very interesting too.  I felt super excited and happy.

Hoben said that the Japanese society, its culture and values, are greatly influenced by Zen.  It is not overstating to say that Zen philosophy lies in the basis of everything in Japan.  He said that being born as a Japanese person is an incredibly fortunate thing.

I have never thought that way before, but felt very pleased.  Of course, I don’t know enough to say, but I do sincerely hope that Zen can co-exist in myself with my Christian faith.

So now….. I sit, meditate, and chant.