One of my very favourite zen poems by Matsuo Basho goes :
‘Sitting quietly, doing nothing …
and the grass grows by itself.’
I discovered this poem many decades ago when I was a young man and had suffered a nervous breakdown. My mind had gone and my heart was broken. The poem gave me assurances that just being was enough. In just being I could also enjoy and appreciate life as it was, and as it unfolded, moment by moment.
It is a long time since I first discovered Zen and it has been the major foundation for my life since then. We are now in session 5 of ‘A Men’s Group’ and again I place my trust in the flow of just being present, natural, and honest. To trust in the unfoldment of things. Just being present, and responding in the moment.
Again I spend the entire week contemplating what might be the best way to make the session the best it can be. At the same time reminding myself that if I can just be relaxed and present and caring then everything else will take care of itself.
In the foundational sessions we have had our main focus on ‘Respect, Active Listening and Sharing what feels important to share.’ In this session I suggest that we bring our focus to just ‘Being’.
I also welcome the men to speak of whatever it is, within them, that they want to bring to the session.
Whatever they want help with will also be the main theme.
Another theme could easily be : ‘How does it feel to be true to yourself with others?’
Greg Govinda (c) Dec. 2022
(excerpt from upcoming book ‘A Men’s Group – reflections on facilitating Men’s support Circles’)