“In this body […] there is existing something, the true person without rank and name, the true self with absolute freedom, clinging nowhere.“
Zen master Rinzai
„Understanding is love“
Thich Nhat Hanh
„This practice: to be fearless the ones we are – the very person we are in a natural way,
without affectation or work – requires great integrity and equally great humility.”
(Book: The Hidden Lamp)
Welcome in No-Rank-Sangha, Bonn!
“There is grievous suffering even within the blue sky!”
(from the koan: “Ling’s Question”, The Hidden Lamp, Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, edited by Florence Caplow and Susan Moon)
The above quotation from a koan takes you right into the middle of our practice and studies!
We are training with a Rinzai-Zen teacher, an abbot from Seattle, USA, Genjo Marinello. I have started to study with him, a Dharma Heir in his lineage, an Osho, after I had met him in 2012 in my third Bearing-Witness-Retreat in Auschwitz. At that time, in Auschwitz, in November, we were more concentrating on the grievous suffering, crying and shouting sometimes at the suffering we can cause each other.
It really needs practice, or training, to be willing and able to see the blue sky in all the suffering in this world. I am Monika Jion [“Jion” is a Japanese name meaning: Sound of Compassion], Jion is my Dharma-name, given to me in two lay-ordination-ceremonies, one in 2011 by Barbara Wegmüller, Roshi, and the other in 2014, in my Mother-Temple Chobo-Ji, by Genjo Marinello, Osho.
I invited my teacher to Germany, to Bonn, and he has given three 5-day sesshins (retreats), besides other offerings such as Dharma-Dialogues/-talks, and half-day-sesshins. Already after the first successful sesshin in Hof Kuppen, Siegerland, with 14 retreatants, in 2015, we started with a Rinzai-Study-Group and Zazenkais, practice days, every quarter of a year. After a short time Genjo accepted our proposal to skype with us, towards the end of the day, so that we could put our questions or give our comments to the Dharma-talk by Genjo, we had been listening to. In the meantime we wanted to practice more, and so we are offering every two months a Zen-Practice-Day: With an Introductory into Rinzai-Zen; an informal breakfast/brunch, where friends can be brought. The practice day goes from 1pm-7pm.
The best is: After Genjo’s third strong and wonderful sesshin in February this year, we felt like becoming a Sangha and called it, after a saying by our famous ancestor master Rinzai: No-Rank-Sangha.
What does this mean for us?
Well, I think, we still have to find out. But I know what it means for me, in this moment or period of my life.
We are committed to diversity and harmony in our Sangha and wish to investigate how this can manifest, We claim that every attending person, every member, is welcome and feels welcomed: Free from titles, positions in the “world”, age, gender, belonging to the group, posts (you will probably get to know what this means in Rinzai-Zen). We furthermore claim that we are not somehow higher than Mother Earth and the elements, animals and plants included. We are here, on this planet, to serve life.
We recognize that we have to search for new paths to face and change structural violence in a peaceful way. Socially and spiritually orientated movements such as Zenpeacemakers, Ecodharma und many others already are contributing to this goal to a remarkable extend. This is about the collective level of healing/transformation.
On the individual level of healing/transformation we wish to apply non-violent-communication (NVC), circle-work (“Council”), healing of our “inner child”, shadow-work, art-therapies in the broadest sense.
Knowing that, as Ling also said in the above case from the ninth century:
“To be a human being is to live in calamity”.
We are trying to accept that, deeply, inhale that, and make these calamities to be our teacher.
We are offering:
- Every January or February a 5-day-sesshin with Genjo Osho, close to Bonn, and more…
- Introduction to Rinzai Zen: Every two months
- Zazenkais with Teisho (Podcast) by Genjo and a life-contact with him via Skyping: Every two months
- Weekly meditation (Zazen) on Mondays (regularly), with Nikola Dedes.
- Book-study-group “Mumonkan”: Thursdays (irregularly), with Frank Luckner
- “Hidden-Lamp”- Book-Study and Workshop-Project: Twice a week, as from January 2018
- Other projects such as: Living and Dying-Workshop-Project, Non-violent-communication
- Also see other offerings on our home page.
- NEW: Spiritual counseling: As from September 2017, with Monika Jion Winkelmann
All offerings are Dana-based. Workshops require fees because of the preparation and material used. Nobody shall feel excluded by the height of fees! We strongly stick to this tenet. There are other very basic tenets, you will learn about them on the Zen Peacemakers page.
We are curious to know you! Try us, join us! Enrich us with your creativity, your “ingredients,” and with your humanness!
With a bow:
In service of No-Rank-Sangha-Bonn
Zen Peacemaker Circle Steward
Member of Zen Peacemaker Order
Coordinator of Sesshins & More with Genjo Marinello Osho in Germany
“Giraffe-hotline” (nvc-counselling in emergency)
My Mala with the names of my supporters of four Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreats, from five in total.
Monika Jion Winkelmann, Zen begeistert…