READING | Mzanzi Zen by Antony Osler | 6pm Tuesday 20 September 2016| David Krut Bookstore Parkwood
‘The word Zen means meditation, meditation means to Wake Up. Waking up means to open your eyes, your ears and your whole being. Then you can connect with the world you live in – you can dance with it, weep with it and heal it. You can find refuge in it or just walk tall with a heart as wide as the sky.’ – Antony Osler
Mzansi is hurting. Mzansi is dancing. This land is a constant tumble of brilliance and disappointment, of beauty, courage and heartache. How do we live with all this?
This is our life’s question, one we need to confront if our presence here is to have any meaning. The Way of Zen asks of us to look our situation in the eye; beyond our opinions, arguments and fears about it all, into things exactly as they are. It takes courage, it takes sincerity and it takes a great love. But this open-hearted awakeness allows us to step out of our separate corners into our natural connectedness, into our inherent oneness with this world and its people. Now we find ourselves standing in each others’ shoes, singing each other’s songs and weeping each other’s tears. From this intimacy, compassion and wisdom arise, and a generosity of spirit. Whatever we think of how the country is being run or where it is heading, this is our life. Let us live it fully. Then we can stand here with our head held high. We can respond rather than react. We can open our closed fist. And if we choose to participate in public life, we do so from a wider, more forgiving view. In this way our time together will be rich beyond measure – sometimes beautiful, sometimes fearful, always alive.
Mzansi Zen is an affectionate, challenging and witty blend of stories, commentaries and poems about life in present-day South Africa, threaded through a day in an actual Zen meditation retreat. The author’s familiar and authoritative Zen style inspires us into taking up this life with both hands, calling us into an intimacy that is already beneath our feet. Read it. It will change your mind and open your heart.
Mzansi Zen is the third book in the series; it follows in the footsteps of Stoep Zen (2008) and Zen Dust (2012).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Antony Osler is a long-term Zen practitioner and teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Dae Gak of Furnace Mountain. He is also a former Zen monk and human rights advocate. Antony lives with his family on a farm in the Karoo region of South Africa, where he leads meditation retreats in a stone zendo and sits each evening on the stoep to watch the sun go down. When off the farm he arbitrates labour disputes.