I am a student of Zen Buddhism and took the precepts (the dharma vows) in a ceremony in March 2017. I study with the teachers of the Mountain Rain Zendo in Vancouver, BC and I host a weekly Zen sitting group on Gabriola Island where I live.
I write often about meditation and Zen practice these days because I find both to be an immensely helpful framework in grappling with the world as it is right now – an often-times difficult place to be on the face of it.
I started using my blog tagline – More apocalypse, less angst – more than fifteen years ago (long before I discovered Zen), as a reflection of my discomfort with the road we are headed down as a species. Although my approach to life has broadened from the narrow activist perspective I once came from, I have continued to use it. I am of the opinion that whether we need it or not, more “apocalypse” in the form of suffering and difficult times are coming, and that the best way to meet those challenges is to develop a spirit of transformation, joy, and problem solving rather than fear. We cannot turn away from our collective economic, social, environmental problems – thus we must learn together to face them with fearless love.
This is easier said than done – I am nowhere near this level of consciousness! But I do find that daily meditation, and reflection on the deep historical and spiritual tradition of Zen brings me at least temporary peace on days when I want nothing more than to turn away from those around me.