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Landscapes for Learning


Jun 22, 2018

“The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything.

So when you try hard to make your own way, you will help others, and you will be helped by others.

Before you make your own way you cannot help anyone, and no one can help you.” 


― Shunryu SuzukiZen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

Myozen Joan Amaral moved to the Boston area in 2012 from the San Francisco Zen Center to serve as guiding teacher for the Zen Center North Shore. She is delightful, funny, a ray of light, and a calming force to be around. There's a positive and loving attractiveness about her that, as she says at the end of the podcast, impacts others more than anything she could say using words. 

As a priest living back out in the world, her primary focus is on the dynamic relationship between formal meditation practice and everyday, messy human life.

I met Joan years ago when I went on a World Religions class field trip to the Zen Center and again when she was invited to implement a meditation program for students and teachers at the school where I worked as a high school humanities teacher.

In this podcast, Joan talks with me about the interplay of the inner landscape and life on the outer landscape in terms of zazen and the precepts of Zen Buddhism. She talks about the Zen Center and her role as Priest within the local community and individual mindful meditation practice as well as its relationship to community, activism, and social justice.  We also talk about the definition of mindfulness and how it is popularly perceived as a tool for stress reduction, how it’s been limited in some ways because of such perceptions and definition, and the barriers to its acceptance as a valued practice. 

Influencing the world and serving others is intimately tied to individual practice, and honing one's practice is a form of social activism benefitting not only the practitioner but all else.

I learned some important lessons about myself and my desire to "help others" in this podcast! Enjoy.

For more about the North Shore Zen Center:

https://zencenternorthshore.org/

For more information about Zen Buddhism:

http://www.zen-buddhism.net/

 

Visit my "love for learning beyond schooling" website at http://www.LandscapesforLearning.com

Contact: Landscapesforlearning27@gmail.com

Creative Commons License for "Political Lunatics" by Earthling (intro and outro music)
"Political Lunatics" by Earthling