AMBRA GATTO BERGAMASCO

Contemporary Butoh Dance Teaching Talks and Projects

Zazenshin: Acupuncture Needle of Zazen, by Shohaku Okumura

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Can just sitting be enough? Do we really find it difficult to do something without ulterior meaning and motivation? I found this article interesting, it resonated with some conversations had in the Zen meditation group I go and further, I related it to when I dance Butoh: do I have an ulterior motif..or do I dance for the invitation…dancing bliss, just dancing, because there is no because. What do you think? Does this relate to your practice?

Buddhism now

Zazen is the centre of our practice and also the centre of Dogen’s teaching. The Shobogenzo Zazenshin is one of Dogen’s writings in which he discussed the essential nature of his sitting practice. He wrote this text in 1242.

‘Za’ means ‘sitting’, and ‘zen’ is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word ‘chan’ which is the transliteration of the Sanskrit word ‘dhyana’, meaning ‘meditation’. A literal translation of ‘zazen’ is ‘seated meditation’. ‘Shin’ means ‘acupuncture needle’. Today’s acupuncture needle is made of some kind of metal, but in ancient times it was made from bamboo. An acupuncture needle is a kind of instrument to heal sickness. My translation of this title, Zazenshin, is ‘Acupuncture Needle of Zazen’. Zazen is an acupuncture needle to heal our sickness.

Human Sickness

Buddhism Now cover Oct 1990. Art © Marcelle Hanselaar What is our sickness? I think it is very clear. Shakyamuni Buddha said that we have been shot with an arrow…

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Author: ambra gatto bergamasco

Artist dancer Processual Choreographer Corporeal Dramaturg; Butoh dancer and teacher; Moving Bodies Festival Director and curator, Artistic Director of Compagnia Sperimentale Drammatica/ Espace Productions. Research: Cultural Anthropology_Urban Geography_Art and Geography_Cartography_Score_SiteSpecific_Mental Health_Humans_Ecosystems_Embodied Politics Economies of culture and culture economy

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