On what seemed to be a typical Saturday evening, our Global BBA students headed to Kanshouji Temple in the northern part of Nagoya city to experience Zazen meditation.
The head priest of Kanshouji Temple, Mr. Niwa, introduced the students to the meditation practice of Sōtō Zen, one of the largest sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism that emphasizes meditation without any objects or content in order to make it approachable for everyone. He gave a lecture to let students understand the whole process of Zazen, from the correct postures, a steady breath, to a peaceful mind.
After 40 minutes of Zazen practice, students shared their perceptions of their first-try while enjoying traditional Japanese green tea and crackers. Most of them pointed out that, the pain on their legs and back dominated the mind and distracted them from relaxing during the practice, which is contrary to the goal of Zazen: to calm the body and mind.
However, some of them found a better position during the second practice - the spinal cord stretched up straight without causing detrimental tension in the back and spine, and allowed them to generate a clear spirit. Mr. Niwa told us that the practitioner should let the ego’s willpower become inactive and passive. Unconsciously, after several gentle flicks of half-lowered eyelids, people can create true stability and no longer search actively for a goal. Nowadays, Zazen has become more and more popular and people have begun to look at it as an approach to find inner peace.
NUCB organizes cultural enrichment activities every semester to boost social and cultural understanding of Japan for the Global BBA students, providing them with opportunities to learn different perspectives of Japanese culture, some of which may not be easily attained.