5 Thursdays, May 2 - 30, 2019
This class led by AZC Director Tim Kroll is a part of the larger Spring Practice Period on the topic of Mind. It will focus on a critical moment when Zen first became Zen, when Indian Buddhism first began to integrate the language and ideas of Taoism in China, launching the “Golden Age” of Zen (or Chan) in China. We will view this moment through the lens of a “song of enlightenment” poem by the 3rd Zen Ancestor, Seng-ts’an, called Hsin Xin Ming (“Faith/ Trust in Mind”). This work encourages us to undo, rather than do, to drop pretense, and to enter and become the simplicity and wholeness which Taoists had observed in the natural world. “Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.”
Crucial questions will include: what is meant by “Mind” (“xin” in Chinese translates to something closer to “heart/mind,” or the totality of our experience), is this my mind, your mind, our mind? And what is this “Faith” or “Trust,” how do we understand this type of trust, and how do we enact it in our practice, in our lives? The primary text for this class will be Mu Soeng’s Trust in Mind: the Rebellion of Chinese Zen, which includes commentary, wonderful essay’s, and numerous translations of this ancient work. The class will give some background and context, but will largely involve a textual study of various translations, as together we unpack this classic and it’s wisdom and import for our modern, busy lives.
Tim Kroll began Zen practice in 2000 at the Chapel Hill Zen Center in North Carolina, where he was lay ordained by Josho Pat Phelan. In 2008 he moved to Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, and spent the next five years in monastic residence, both there and at San Francisco Zen Center City Center. He was one of the founding leaders of the popular Young Urban Zen Community at City Center and was Shuso (Head Monk) under Ryushin Paul Haller in 2015. He recently completed a four year Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, and herbal practice). Tim moved to Austin to become the Director of AZC in April, 2018.