In April 2009 a friend of mine asked me for an interview about ZEN and my-self for a magazine in a virtual world called Secondlife. Since then I was repeatedly asked, if I could publish it “outworld” to share it easier, so here we go(in English only).
Interview for the Secondlife Icon magazine, 20090410
Hi .ZEN, we seem to be missing each other online. So I thought I’d just compile the questions and you can just send the note card back with your answers. My rough draft is due tomorrow.
1) how did you get interested in ZEN? am i calling it correctly?
ZEN is to me like the water to the fish. It took sOMe time until I noticed all is ZEN. I remember some weird “singularity” dreams with strange feelings when I was a kid, later I red lots of books and met various people over the planet who did help to re-mind me of what I forgot.
2) some say it teaches you to be aware of yourself. please explain
I am not sure, if ZEN “teaches” you any-thing. One the one hand I would say, ZEN is passive and re-flects your-self and ex-plains you the world that way, one the other hand ZEN can slap you very actively into your face – sOMetimes.
3) so is it like looking deeper within. or an inward journey, so to speak. and only being an observer (like looking through a window or is it also as a participant)?
There are many warnings about when you invite ZEN into your life. Once you did, there is no way back, it will make you JUMP into life(well you can never be outside…) and smash any windows to pieces. Its as funny as you would call the fish in the water “the observer” 🙂
4) as a German national, obviously you were not born into this philosophy. was the transition difficult for you, to let go and break away from traditional dogma’s and doctrines?
Mmmh, no. I personally felt “misplaced” in the mostly Christian religious system in which I grow up, in ZEN, I feel hOMe.
5) what about the rules, ordinances (do’s and dont’s) of traditional religion. did you find them rigid and heavy? and Zen lighter in a sense?
Traditional religion put you in a kinda regulated cage. That can give many people a safe feeling what is absolutely OK. ZEN puts you more on a mountain top and says: “All yours, now what?” what can be scary with suddenly so much roOM and freedom around you…
6) was this a practice you had before coming to SL or after?
I am on my ZEN way for over 20 years now, so pre-SL 😉
7) for most there is some other-worldly, other -realm associated with their spiritual practice, is this also the case of Zen?
There is only ONE world. If you search of wait for sOMething else, good luck!
8 ) or is there an elevation of sorts to the spiritual realm where a supreme diety resides?
The fish is in the water and water is inside the fish.
9) or is there an elevation of sorts to the spiritual realm where a supreme diety resides?
Déjà vue. 🙂
10) were you surprised at the number and diversity of avatars participating in the sits?
No. SL is like RL, there are still many who are afraid to “show” their real self, maybe they fear to get rejected. I can sing songs about this topic~
11) do you find the community growing or remaining constant or shrinking since your introduction?
If you are talking about the ZEN-MEN group in SL, its constantly growing. Slowly but steady.
12) how about discussions? do yo participate in any of the discussions on the Zen sims?
I float around, my only regular discussion I take part in is thursdays at “The Forum” which is a general Forum about Life and all.
13) how about guided meditations? do you prefer to go it alone or in a guided setting?
Many years back I tried out guided meditations for a while and quickly found out, its not so my thing. I rather prefer to listen to the void~
14) speaking of meditation. for those who have not participated in meditation, how many variations are there? how many methods?
There are at least as many methods as living avatars on this planet. You can try many years to fit into a form, or create your own – then choose what fits your-self better.
15) in Christianity, a Priest or Pastor is the highest position. what is that title for one who teaches in Zen?
16) would you say that your SL experience is a “compliment” to your RL practice?
As a per-son who sees all in ONE, I cannot divide SL from RL, so maybe SL in a kinda ex-tension, wider networking tool. To me, SL could be the next Internet in 3D…
17) if you could give advice to a lay person or beginning student in the way of Zen, both in SL and in RL, what would you say?
“ZEN is nothing for you.”
18) is it possible to utilize the Zen community as your only means of introduction and practice for Zen? and have that be a rewarding experience?
ZEN is not about cookies, its about cooking.
19) in Islam and Catholicism, there are specific times to pray. is this also the case for Zen? is it as rigid in its times to sit to meditate?
Its always the right time, or never. Either one or the other is true, or both or none. Choose yourself.
20) well i cant think of any thing else to ask. is there something you’d like to contribute or say to the readers specifically, concerning the philosophy and spirituality you practice?
The fish is in the water, aware or not. Happy floating!
21) would you like your name mentioned in the article?
ZEN7MEN Mannonen aka .ZEN aka Christoph Friedrich Remspecher is the RL Director of Art and Music at BRP7.com and the creator of ZEN-MEN
Thank you for the great questions, Pet! Namaste 🙂 I use “-” hyphens and sOMe caps writings very aware and precisely, just that you know~
LM to ZEN-zation: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lingmell/188/133/1503
Thank you kindly, Namaste _/\_