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BENDO: Wholehearted Way


My first encounter with Zen was very casual, almost without searching it. When I took the woman who is now my wife to a sesshin, it happened there was an open space available due to a last minute cancellation. Hosso Sensei, smiling, invited me to stay.


This first retreat was very intense  because of very strong physical pain and due to the fact I could never count my breath from one to ten. Nevertheless, ever since that first time I sat zazen, I felt it was the path I had to follow. 


It took four years after that for me to decide to take the lay vows. It was not that I had doubts about my commitment to the Zen way, but because of my discriminating mind´s notion that I had to advance more and be able to sustain my practice.


Taking Jukai reaffirmed the commitment I made with myself after that first sesshin. My Sensei named me Bendo, implying the WHOLEHEARTED WAY, a term that comes from Bendowa, a text from the founder of the Soto Zen School, where he introduces zazen practice to the Japanese Buddhist practitioners as the Wholehearted Way to seek truth. 


My Dharma name´s teaching  resides in pointing out the drive I have for deep commitment to my practice and generally with everything I undertake, but it also reveals the obsessive side that sometimes makes my efforts go too far.


This points out that my practice, both in the zendo and in my everyday life, must be with great commitment, but effortless at the same time. I strive to do zazen without expectations, without judging and without attachment to the outcome.

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