Zen meditation (EN tempo)

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German langage Sangha

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Practicing Samu


In zen buddhism, great importance is placed on working for the community. Such work is done in the spirit of generosity and devotion. This voluntary work is known as samu

 

The collective energy of practicing zen buddhists has allowed for the founding of numerous dojos and monasteries in Europe during recent decades. Samu is essential for the daily workings of such establishments. Cooking, cleaning the premises, preparing bouquets of flowers for the alters... all of these tasks are carried out in the spirit of generosity - a core value of buddhism. During sesshins (meditation retreats) time is devoted to samu which offers participants the opportunity to work in concentration and silence, one step at a time. In the kitchen, the colours of the vegetables become more vibrant, oil sizzles audibly in the pan, and an array of aromas fill the air. 

 

At Ryumonji Monastery, all of the maintenance as well as the daily fuctions of the monastery depend on samu. As such, samu is scheduled for every morning and afternoon. After a short cermony, the nun or monk responsible for samu assigns tasks to everyone present. Work includes assiting in the office, cutting vegetables in the kitchen, cleaning the toilets, stacking firewood, weeding the garden, or perhaps even building a shelf to organise footwear. Whatever the task may be, participants dedicate themselves to it peacefully. In the simple act of performing duties with complete concentration of body and mind, life becomes simple and serene.