I have a lot of thoughts about what is about to go down. After having a lovely evening with some old family friends the other night, I think it is a good time to better explain what this move to Green Gulch entails.
The range of reactions I get when people ask me what I am doing out here in California is amusing. Everything from jealousy, curiosity, mild fear, or confusion. In a country where, to many people being religious is only a Sunday affair, attending some sort of service 5-7 days a week sounds a bit...zealous? All I can say is that Buddhism (and spirituality in general) fits into people's lives in many different ways and that's great! It has to.
I can only speak for myself that in order to learn how to love unconditionally and be my best self I have to study and practice Zen more than once a week. It is not easy to walk through life. We see suffering every day. We may even feel some sense of suffering every day. It is the human condition. In order to face that; in order to really know ourselves; and in order to acknowledge that we are perfect as we are, constant and consistent practice can be really helpful. The heart of that practice for Zen Buddhists is meditation. Getting acquainted with yourself by putting aside the distractions of the non-stop world around you. It is not to say that you ignore the world or check out but you take some time out every day to peel away the layers over your truest self so that you can be more present in the life you live and make honest choices about how you want to spend your time.
Below is a little quote describing Green Gulch. You can also check out the website AND you can come visit anytime. It is not a cult and I am allowed to leave and have visitors ;-)
"Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, also known as Green Dragon Temple (Soryu-ji), is a Buddhist practice center in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition offering training in Zen meditation and ordinary work.
Our effort at Green Gulch is to awaken in ourselves and the many people who come here the bodhisattva spirit, the spirit of kindness and realistic helpfulness. This is how we offer our understanding of Buddha's Way." http://www.sfzc.org/ggf/