The path is where you are!
In other words, is in the present, observing ourselves, that the practice happens. But, at the moment, I am choosing deepen this learning.
And how is the life in the Zen Center? Firstly, there are a lot of zazen. In zazen, we sit facing the the wall, in silence, eyes are half-open and hands form an elipse, the cosmic mudra. It is the core of the practice. What differentiates the zen-buddhism other Buddhist schools and exactly this emphasis on zazen. There are no mantras or visualizations. The half-open eyes keeps us connected with everything that surrounds us.
Also there is a lot of work (which we call samu or soji).
Clean the temple is part of the practice: as we work together to ensure that the environment is appropriate and how we have managed to make a harmonious environment? Also there are liturgies, in which we sing sutras and played instruments.
Depending on the place and time we have different intensities of practice. In Yokoji for a month was “training period” when we sit zazen for about 5 hours a day. The same in “intensive practice period“ Green Gulch. In the City Center during the “practice period” there are more classes. But in all centers, sesshin (Zen retreat) is always when the practice is more intense.
Together with Zen, Kundalini Yoga is also an important part of my practice. It is the “yoga of consciousness”, works vigorously to raise the energy of consciousness of the lower chakras to the higher. Translation: it seeks to work in our body and mind so that our focus can expand the most basic needs for a broader understanding. Who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West was Yogi Bajan, a teacher who was willing to open up to the knowledge of all this technique that was practiced by few in India. In the period I was in Guadalajara I could do classes every day and San Francisco could go to classes every week.
For me, the Zen and the Kundalini Yoga practices are complementary. Yoga classes help me to have more stability during zazen, Zen and help me realize more closely my body and mind during class.