Upon arriving at the monastery, I was struck by the serenity of the surroundings. Nestled in a tranquil valley with mountain vistas, the Zen monastery embodied simplicity, peace, and mindfulness. The austerity of the monastery was a stark contrast to the luxury of my city apartment, but it held a unique appeal.
Adapting to Monastic Life
Transitioning to monastic life required discipline and patience. I had to adapt to a structured schedule, which included meditation, chores, communal meals, and teachings. The solitude and silence were challenging at first but gradually led to introspection and peace.
My days at the monastery were centered around Zen practice. From zazen (seated meditation) and kinhin (walking meditation) to studying koans (Zen riddles), each day was an opportunity to deepen my understanding of Zen and cultivate mindfulness.
Being Part of a Spiritual Community
Living in the monastery also meant becoming part of a spiritual community. We practiced together, worked together, and supported each other on our spiritual paths. This sense of community brought a deep sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Reflecting on the Transition
Looking back, the move from a corporate job to a Zen monastery was a life-altering decision. It was not just a change in location, but a transformation in lifestyle, mindset, and spiritual direction. While challenging, the journey brought tranquility, introspection, and a deeper understanding of Zen. This move was not about escaping from life but finding a deeper way to engage with it.