“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
“To fearlessly be who we are – exactly the person, we are in the most natural way, without affectation or boastfulness – is requiring much integrity and equally much humbleness.”
(Book: The Hidden Lamp)
Welcome in 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 names of my supporters in four of five Auschwitz-Bearing-Witness-Retreats as participnat
Memorial Service for Bernie Glassman Roshi - Via Integralis is celebrating together with Zen Peacemakers International, Bonn cemakers Internation Bonn
with 16 attendants for our beloved teacher Bernie Glassman, for a wonderful soul.
An offering by via integralis and zen peacemakers international resp. not-knowing-Sangha Bonn.
The hall is situated in the same Catholic Family Education Institution both of us, Winfried Semmler-Koddenbrock and myself are serving since long. He, as a contemplation teacher from via integralis, Catholic minister, engaged in a variety of peace-prayer-and social networks, we both are parts of. He is a great soul himself, as his wife Renate, and his community actively and creatively supported all my five Auschwitz-Bearing-Witness-Retreats (with prayers, letters, photos, candles, money, and a precious shawl, which had finally landed at Wounded Knee!), and the Black-Hills-Retreat as well as the two Lampedusa-Pilgrimages. Winfried‘s teachers are Pia Gyger, Roshi, and Nikolas Brantschen, Roshi, former Heads of Lassalle- Haus in Switzerland, Dharma-Heirs of Bernie Glassmann Roshi. Thus, by his enormeous creativity, Bernie had created the Glassman- Lassalle-Lineage.
Myself serving this institution as a certified writing therapist, since 27 years, freelance, publicist, artist, with a bunch of other offerings, e.g. for five years a monthly Council-Circle for Warchildren and their descendants.
In this hall my former husband Reiner Seido and I celebrated our Lay-ordination, called Jukai, with my precept-teacher Barbara Wegmüller, Roshi, who at that time has not even been Sensei – what a beautiful path! Deep bows to her! Together with her husband, Roland Wegmüller, Roshi. It has been an awesome celebration, ending with a fabulous potluck, and some art offerings.
I am happy to remember later lovely zen peacemaker souls such as Georgia von Schlieffen, Svenja Hollweg, Rupert Weiss, members of our zen peacemaker circle, and Heike Kranz, who so selflessly served not only that evening, but also when Bernie had paid us a visit in Bonn, together with Ariel Pliskin, was practically supporting us immensely. Daniel Speicher is now studying with Genjo Marinello Osho, my root-teacher, whom I have also got to know in Auschwitz, and with whom I would study and practice for five years, built up a Sangha in Bonn, inviting him to four longer sesshins in Bonn and coordinating them.
I am numerating only some people, teachers, places, endeavours, which have in unfathomable ways shaped and enriched my life and the lives of many. Zen Peacemakers Germany would have been foundated in 2012 in Berlin, second generation, important to say. Until the first, the second and soon the third generations of German zen peacemakers might have created a common narrative, a common ground, so to speak, on which they wholeheartedly feel, they are standing and growing, one day fully blossoming…this will be still a long way to come to. We Germans are all, consciously or unconsciously, still deeply suffering from the two wars and all the losses, from the two dictatorships and the wall. Disruptures of an enormeous violence. Our own disruptures, in our souls, families, groups, communities, society, are understandable, and they need time to heal.
Paul Shoju Schwerdt, Roshi, Heinz-Jürgen Metzger Roshi and, recently, Cornelius von Collande, Roshi ought to be all respected, honored, and … newcomers should know about their first-generation-efforts! I did, what I could do, in this respect, contacting them, honoring them, which was nice and connecting. I failed in other efforts in making peace. These are sad insights, and they are necessary to own them, in order to go on, with light energy and a pure heart, which, nevertheless, will be dusty again, soon.
I am feeling drawn to write a bit more: Not because I need to be seen. My intention is to point at the enormeously vast horizon Bernie Roshi was able to envision: From Rwanda, to Lampedusa, Malta, and Athens, from Switzlerland to Austria, to Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. From Sweden, Finland, UK, to La Reunion. From Australia to Japan, to China, to Brazil…in between Latin-America, the US and Canada…I am connected with all these countries by personal relationships, thanks to facebook as well, thanks to Bernie and his many, many affiliates.
Big bows to Bernie’s wives, all three: We know that behind a grand man there is always a grand woman!
Blessings to his children and grandchildren and all the many children-projects.
May the spirit of true forgiveness surround his name for the mistakes or harm he, as all of us are responsible for, has made. May his „red-nose-spirit“ live on, his humbleness and rebellion against dead, soulless things.
May his name be a blessing for the world and the universe.
Not-Knowing-Sangha Bonn International
Member of Zen Peacemaker Community (former Order), since 2011
Zen Peacemaker Circle Holder
Coordinator of sesshins and bearing-witness-pilgrimages