I would encourage any Toledoans in my readership to check out this article by Blade Religion Editor David Yonke.
And not just because I’m quoted in it, either:
Diana Schnuth, 31, of Toledo, said she was raised in a Christian home but came to the realization that “I no longer believed what I was raised to believe.”
She found that practicing Zen gives her a peaceful feeling. “I always come home from here feeling a lot better than when I arrived,” she said.
Even though Mr. Yonke had a digital recorder with him, I think I might have been paraphrased or misunderstood rather than directly quoted. I don’t think I would use the word “arrived” in informal conversation. I could be wrong, though — I *was* trying not to disgrace the sangha by saying something stupid.
I also know that I purposely did not identify the religion in which I was raised, not even to call it “Christian.” I recall saying that I was raised in a “religious manner,” but studiously avoided saying that I was a Mormon. The last thing I need is to have the missionaries knocking on my front door, trying to get me back to church.
Those minor issues aside, I thought the article was well-written, and I learned a lot about my Sensei between reading this article and Wednesday’s article in the City Paper. The publicity definitely helped boost the attendance at yesterday’s workshop on beginning meditation, as many people said that they had read about us in the newspaper.
Zen meditation can dovetail with your personal beliefs if you let it, since Zen itself has no mythology or belief system behind it, as Sensei pointed out. If you’re interested, even just vaguely, I’d encourage you to find a sangha near you and check it out. It can be a little weird the first couple of times you attend a zazenkai, but that doesn’t last long, and the inner stillness and acceptance of yourself and the world is well worth it, in my opinion.