Now more than ever.
Earlier this year, a version of this essay was originally published as “Silent Illumination in the Virtual World: A Practitioner’s Reflection," in The Arrow: A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics 10, No. 1 (2023): 60-66. Honored to have been asked to contribute, with recent permission to share it with you. Thank you for being here.
Monasteries and retreat centers worldwide closed their doors to in-person events during the pandemic, and many, rather than close altogether, transitioned their offerings online. Unable to visit practice centers, practitioners learned how to cultivate retreat space in their own homes. At a time when the domestic space was either too full or too empty, for those living alone or uneasily with others, cultivating sacred space and time to practice at home offered an opportunity for transforming practice.
In this reflection, I explore my own unlikely opportunity to deepen my practice online despite being only a few miles away from where the trainings were hosted at Upaya Zen Center, founded by Roshi Joan Halifax, one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s students.
Here’s where my journey in Zen Buddhism begins.
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