On an intense Zen retreat, insight meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein opens up to the vulnerable experience of compassion. By Joseph Goldstein::continue reading
The practice of compassion means letting experience in. A Japanese poet, a woman named Izumi who lived in the tenth century, wrote: “Watching the moon at dawn, solitary, mid-sky, I knew myself completely. No part left out.” When we can open to all parts of ourselves and to others in the world, something quite extraordinary happens. We begin to connect with one another.
One of the most memorable experiences in my meditation practice occurred quite a few years ago. I was doing a Zen sesshin—an intensive meditation retreat—with Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a very fierce old Zen master. Roshi worked with the koan method. A koan can be a question the master gives you that does not have a rational answer.