Meet Genpo Roshi
Zen Master Genpo Merzel’s teaching is rooted in a deep appreciation of traditional Zen, which he has practiced and taught for over four decades, and his ongoing exploration of ways to integrate the wisdom and insights of both East and West into everyday life.
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Meet Genpo Roshi
Zen Master Genpo Merzel’s teaching is rooted in a deep appreciation of traditional Zen, which he has practiced and taught for over four decades, and his ongoing exploration of ways to integrate the wisdom and insights of both East and West into everyday life.
Read More
Now Available
Digital Teachings >
Join Genpo Roshi
Events in Salt Lake City, Boulder, Copenhagen, The Caribbean, Maui...
Upcoming Events
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Next

Recent Blog Posts

Looking for one’s true self and being true to one’s self

[Excerpted from a video conference, January 10, 2021]

 We have this saying in Zen, ‘to find, or discover, our true self.’ Lately, for the last year or two, I’ve been saying it’s not so much about finding our true self as being true to our self. To me that’s authenticity, that’s integrity, that’s honesty, that’s truthfulness.

 And to be true to the situation — and I know I have not always been — so when you’re with family and somebody is spilling their heart out, or their guts out, and you’re being dispassionate — I remember one time a relative, a 16-, 17-year old girl, asked me, “What is Zen?” and I made some wiseass remark, I said, “I don’t know.” The truth is, on the one hand, I don’t know what Zen is, but that was not the appropriate answer for the time, for the situation. I should have said, well, it’s a lot about finding out who you are, maybe sitting and meditating, reaching a form of calmness, equanimity. I could have responded in a lot more compassionate way. So it’s finding the appropriateness in the moment.

 But you can draw on the extremes. You have the extremes within your reach, in the palms of your hands, and you can be really compassionate, or not so compassionate, depending on the situation and the time, place and amount. And I think with what’s been going on — not just in our capitol but many capitols and many places in the world — we don’t have to be like ‘everything’s cool, everything’s good.’ There’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior too, but it depends on the situation.

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