Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

Blog / Post

My name is Jishin and right now my practice is...

December 12, 2010 by Guest Author

Rev.
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

writing a first post on this blog. I'm a strong believer in connecting and sharing. I think it's one of most important ways of learning. So it's an honor. Thank you!

For those of you who don't know me: My name is Henrike Jishin Reef and I grew up in the Netherlands. I'm almost 50 and the Tenzo (head cook) at Yokoji. I started Zen practice in 1994 with Genpo Roshi, Tenshin Roshi's older Dharma brother. After 3 years of living in Genpo Roshi's center, I arrived at Yokoji January this year. Really only to help out with cooking for a big retreat that was going on but almost instantly struck by the practice and the wish to stay came up.

So here I am. Hope to meet you soon too!

Tonight we had our counsel circle. I love these circles in which we practice to speak and listen from the heart. It's often touching and revealing to hear what everyone has to say about his/her life at that moment. But the practice of listening with my whole being or heart is the most dear to me. I still find it amazing what can be heard between the words, how we really can not hide from each other, no matter how much we try. And that this is so for everyone! How we all just know what's sincere and genuine and what isn't. And how it doesn't matter at the same time. All that matters is how we or rather I, respond to a situation or a person. Can I set aside all my ideas or feelings about a person (or myself) and be open to whatever is going on for him or her (or myself)? Just listening with all my being?

I love it when I can! It's so free and doing so complete justice to that person or situation. I find this moving because I know so well those situations in which it don't feel real, how I can feel phony and how I don't like it. And to not have this small self in the way is bliss to me.

Does it make sense? Are you willing to share your experience on this subject? I'd love to hear what you have to say.

And if you don't feel like writing: come and visit us on a Saturday night and join in with the circle! Than please stay for the night as well and join in for the Sunday morning program! I promise I will make lunch for you : )

Jishin

Comments

  • Dogo Barry Graham:

    12 Dec 2010 06:13:54

    Hi, Jishin -

    I was hoping you’d start posting on this blog (I like Yugen’s posts too). This post is great.


  • Bob:

    12 Dec 2010 17:53:28

    Though I’ve only been to the center twice, I can say your cooking is excellent, Jishin. I look forward to more Zen practice at Yokoji.


  • Jishin:

    13 Dec 2010 04:46:46

    Thank you Dogo! How are you?
    I might be coming soonish to Phoenix to visit Dan and Helene. Not sure yet when though. Thanks for commenting.


  • Jishin:

    13 Dec 2010 04:47:37

    Thanks Bob! Hope to see you soon than : ) We do have a New Years retreat coming up. Interested?


  • Dogo Barry Graham:

    14 Dec 2010 05:16:27

    Things are good at this end. It’ll be great to see you when you’re in town. It was eighty degrees here today!


  • Doetsu:

    17 Dec 2010 05:10:21

    Jishin, I loved how you described the counsel circle, “…the practice of listening with my whole being or heart is the most dear to me. I still find it amazing what can be heard between the words, how we really can not hide from each other, no matter how much we try.” That was so beautifully put. There is a bond that happens between those who make a sesshin, even though they have spent the whole week not speaking to each other. There’s a different sort of communication that happens. Thank you for being at Yokoji. And thank you for your fantastic cooking. You’ve changed my way of cooking at home, hopefully for the better ;^)
    Hope we can make it this Sunday.
    Doetsu


  • Jishin:

    19 Dec 2010 22:04:54

    Yes, sesshin is magic. Pity you couldn’t be here today. And thank YOU for all your support!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the Yokoji Blog.