Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Konrad Ryushin Marchaj

                When I visited Zen Mountain Monastery in June 2013, the abbot at the time – Konrad Ryushin Marchaj – was leading a wilderness retreat listed in the program calendar as “Born As the Earth: Wilderness Skills Training.” It was described as an opportunity to learn “basic outdoor skills and engage the teachings of the wild in the context of Zen training.” Wilderness camping and zazen. Torrential rains had been falling for several days before my arrival, and, when Ryushin came in for our interview, he was soaking wet. As he dried his face with a towel, I asked how the retreat was going. “They are learning about desire,” he told me in a deep Polish accent that gave his words a sense of gravity. “The desire to be dry; the desire for a nice hot cup of tea.”

[Konrad Ryushin Marchaj [below]- Cypress Trees in the Garden: 14, 258, 262, 268]

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