Personal Statement of Kanno Sensei
I bring my life and 40 plus years of Zen journey to you, speaking to you as an ordinary human being -- a woman, a nurse, an acupuncturist and healer, a spiritual teacher, as one who works on herself. What have I learned? What is the most important news I can give you?
Most of us lead fragmented lives on a rollercoaster chasing the ups and downs of happiness, and commonly finding struggle, frustration, terrible hurt, anger and disappointment. We exist in pieces, alienated from ourselves, others and the living world around us. Yet there is something in us that inherently knows there is a better way and urges us forward.
I can offer a realistic and balanced path that guides you toward experiencing the truth of yourself as unity, and helps you connect intimately with yourself, others and the living world around you. This is the heart of true human being and the gateway to an authentic, satisfying life.
The essential practice is to be fully engaged, immersed and present in our daily lives. We can use meditation, koan study, Focusing and other techniques to develop skills. Know that these skills are meant to help us live in unity. This is not easy! It is a constant challenge to overcome old conditioning and self-defeating patterns.
Zen practices are experiential and down to earth. They also cultivate and integrate intellect, the only way we can plan and remember, make values and good choices in our ongoing being. This integration is BodyMind Consciousness. When we live in the knowledge of real interconnectedness, we become more alive to each and every thing and person we encounter. I have found that Zen makes me strong enough to meet the challenges of the day, the event, the person with an openness that allows for a welcoming of the unknown with interest, compassion, wisdom and skillful action.
Zen offers a precise perspective marked by care and concern with the smallest details as well as larger issues. I live wholeheartedly, responsibly, co-creating my world and myself in an interactive dance. When you live in collaboration and acceptance, you are not a victim but a skillful participant.
What are the characteristics of a Zen “self?” You are still the individual that you are, and you accept the equal personal expression of others. Zen practice teaches flexibility, openness, spontaneity, emotional breadth and depth, intellectual groundedness and clarity, and ethics of “love the world as thyself.” Joy is one aspect that arises from this collaboration and cooperation. Humor is another feature of Zen teaching and character! We open to the complex mystery and try to bring forth the very best of ourselves.