The world that Zen has discovered ~YAMADA Ryôun

Even now once again I cannot help but be amazed at the wonder of the world Shakyamuni discovered. There is no doubt that it is the greatest and most praiseworthy discovery in the history of the human race. To put succinctly the world that Shakyamuni discovered is to use the very words that the discoverer himself left for us: “Above heaven and below heaven, I alone am the Honoured One.” These words are often misunderstood as meaning that in the whole world only I myself am the greatest and most worthy being. But that is not their meaning at all. This is a misunderstanding that arises from not being able to see that world that Shakyamuni discovered.

These words are words that convey the discovery of the fact that all people, each and every person, “is in the whole universe the only one, the only existence.” They are the words that convey the very fact that everyone, without exception “is the only one existing in the whole universe”, or – in other words – that “each and every one is the whole universe itself.” The wonder and awe of this fact is expressed in the
words, “I alone am the Honoured One.”
But this world that Shakyamuni discovered cannot be grasped by concepts, ideas, reasoning, or the intellect. It is a world that can only be discovered through having the same kind of experience as Shakyamuni had. And this kind of experience which is the same as Shakyamuni had can only be achieved through zazen. In other words the world that Shakyamuni discovered is the world that Zen has discovered.

It can be said that the koans which we work on are messages sent from the world the patriarchs discovered through having the same type of experience as Shakyamuni had. Those messages can only be received when once one has experientially, at least with a glimpse, seen that world. Many patriarchs are sending us messages from that world in
words close to the expression, “Above heaven and below heaven, I alone am the Honoured One.” For example, Master Gensha, Dharma successor of Master Seppo, has conveyed this world in the beautiful expression, “The whole world in ten directions is a single, clear pearl.” However, the words that most pointedly yet clearly express this world are those of Master Chosa, Dharma successor to Master Nansen: “The world
in ten directions is my whole body.” Even for those who distort the meaning of “Above heaven and below heaven, I alone am the Honoured One” these words of Master Chosa cannot be misunderstood. The fact that “the whole universe as it is is totally me myself” is so clearly expressed that it cannot be misunderstood. As this world that has been discovered gradually manifests itself more and more, one is overwhelmed by wonder
and awe.
The Heart Sutra is often proposed as conveying precisely the world Shakyamuni discovered, but even the whole of that sutra cannot equal the clarity and depth of “Above heaven and below heaven, I alone am the Honoured One” or “The world in ten directions is my whole body.” Why is that so? I want to leave the answer to another time.
All aspects of the world that encompasses our life such as politics, economics, society, science, technology, health, religion, culture, and so on, are in rapid transition. We even do not need the daily newspaper and television to make us aware of this. IOT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, robots, and other cutting edge technology key words are revolutionizing our daily life with a speed beyond imagination and norm. In the midst of this fast-paced revolutionary change how are we to live? Only the world discovered in Zen can give the right answer to this question. It is my earnest wish that as many people as possible, or all of humanity in the end, can share this world Zen has discovered


Beginning Zen Orientation


The Beginning Zen orientation will introduce you to Zen meditation (ZAZEN). The sessions are intended for the new practitioner or student who wants a foundation and experiential background in Zen. These sessions will include short periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindfulness meditation and informal talks relating to actual Zen practice.

The 3-part weekend orientation is on October 6, 13, & 16, 2018 from 9AM-4PM. Orientation venue will be at the Zen Center Manila Heroes Hill Zendo, #14 Jose Abad Santos St., Heroes Hill Subdivision, QC, from 9am-4pm.

For more information or to reserve a slot, contact Dr. Lulu Ignacio. Mobile numbers: 09175309650 or 09228309650. email to:

Beginning Zen Orientation

May 20 Beginning Zen Orientation

Participants of the recently concluded Beginning Zen Orientation held at the UP Bonsai Garden Meditation Center, Diliman, QC. The 3-part weekend orientation was conducted for those new to Zen meditation, wanting a refresher, or new to practicing with Zen Center Manila. This orientation workshop provided an introduction to Zen
theory, discipline and, most importantly, Zen practice.

Beginning Zen Orientation


Beginning Zen: An Introduction to Zen Practice. An orientation for newcomers who are beginning their Zen practice was held at the UP Bonsai Garden on May 6, 2018. The first session of a three-part weekend series is given to anyone interested in exploring Zen as a contemporary meditation practice-path.

The course is structured over a 3 week period and aims to convey a theoretical and practical understanding of Zen, within a lay context. Each Sunday session consists of an informal talk as well as an opportunity for practice with our regular Zen Center Manila or UP Bonsai Garden sitting group, which includes zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation) & mindfulness meditation practices.

CHR finds its Zen


Zen Meditation Group at the CHR

Zen Meditation was introduced to the staff of the Commission on Human Rights in UP Diliman, QC. April 25, 2018.

Enough examples can show how mindfulness can cause individual and small group changes; but the question is: can you transform societies and build up populations completely committed to respect human rights? The answer is yes, according to PhD Maria Cheung, Professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

“Meditative practice can help integrate personal, collective and social transformation to uphold justice and to protect the human rights of all people of faith; and it importantly engages peaceful resistance. The development of greater self-awareness and self-regulation from mindfulness awakens a new mode of knowing and changes in thoughts and feelings are experienced,”

Those who follow mindfulness engage in greater social activism in contrast to those who refuse to accept the existence of benefits and gains in satisfaction for those who engage in a type of meditation.