So, what is Zen?
Zen is living your meditation, being fully awake and aware. Bodhidharma (528 A.D.) said: “Not dependent on the written word, transmission apart from the scriptures; directly pointing at one’s heart, seeing one’s nature, becoming Buddha”. It is not about sitting on a cushion all day meditating – it is about awareness of everything, and bringing that awareness into every aspect of our lives, seeing our own nature.
Zen is often likened to a philosophy or an attitude rather than a belief. It doesn’t require a belief in anything, not even Buddha. It is about relationship, and understanding our relationship with everything around us – we are not entities alone in this world. We are individuals, but we are also a collective of individuals. Zen is about experiencing, fully. It refuses to be distracted by the illusions of the constructed world around us, from the prisons we create in our own minds to the material consumerism we see running rampant around us. Zen means not only going with the flow of the world around us, but being the flow itself. It is about the true joy of life itself.
So, what is Druidry?
Druidry was the spiritual tradition of the natives of Britain and Ireland and parts of Europe. An ancient pagan tradition, it was a relationship between people and the land which is maintained in modern Druidry, with a focus towards more individualised relationships with the natural world. Druidry today includes relationships with the ancestors and a cultural heritage, as well as encompassing many other worldviews.
Druidry, like Zen, is often likened to a philosophy – it is indeed a way of life, that does not require a belief in any external deity or concept. Druidry seeks to strengthen our bonds of relationship with the natural world, gaining inspiration and wisdom from studying the patterns that nature constantly unfolds before us. At its very core, Druidry holds a reverence for nature. It is about attuning to the cycles of nature around us that we often find ourselves distanced from in this modern world, and finding the wisdom of the oak.
So, what is Zen Druidry?
Zen Druidry encompasses both teachings from Zen and Druidry to combine into a spirituality that is infused with an awareness of the natural world around us. Both Zen and Druidry are all about relationship, and how we fit into the world around us. Through meditation and concepts such as non-attachment to thoughts and experiences coupled with high levels of concentration, Zen Druidry allows us to see the world for what it really is, and in doing so, to honour it and hold a deep reverence for nature in her all glory.
Keep on dancing!
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Love it – worshipping the tree that isn’t there…
Oh for gods sake… Wake up.. this is just another chance to make money out of a psuedo title.
Druidry, has got Sod all to do with Zen.
A challenging opinion, however, not one I agree with… in a word – meh. http://octopusdance.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/meh/
I fail to see belly dancing as being associated to Zen or Druidry in fact. I find many Western women take up belly dancing in the notion that it increases their sexual desirability by men. But I did read that belly dancing originated with the sole purpose of increasing pelvic flexibility for childbirth and all belly dancing in ancient cultures was done by women for women in preparation of such. The male bit is a perversion of the art.
I know a belly dancer, who has numerous failed relationships with men and I sat in amazement and flabegration when in tears at the latest jilt she said ” he has a good deal. I am a 35 year old Belly dancer and he is a 56 year old bald man” Hmmm I thinks he could see the wood for the trees”
And as soon as men or women define themselves and their desirabilty by age or sexual desirability particularly if they advertise it themselves I would have to run a million miles.
Hello Angie – thanks for commenting on my blog. I must point out that I never stated belly dancing has anything to do with either Zen or Druidry in this blog or any others.
What I have come across in my belly dance classes is that women are looking for something fun to do, an activity that does not include going to they gym, where they can meet other people and have a good time. It is a common theory that belly dancing originated or helped with women and childbirth. Belly dance was originally performed by both men and women as a folkloric dance, at family celebrations.
In my opinion, as soon as anyone defines themselves by their age, desirability, their profession, their income, anything – then they are setting themselves up for a big disappointment in life. Definintions, in an of themselves, are limiting. However, sometimes we do need defining, some boundaries created – and in that sense, for me, a person can define themselves by what they do in their community for the benefit of all. There is a saying in the Heathen community – We Are Our Deeds. I find that particularly appropriate – people can ponder and pontificate all day with others either face to face or on the internet, but what really matters is what we do, not what we say.
Very true and maybe if everyone stopped pontificating and just used common sense, respect and kindness to all sentient beings the world would be a happier peaceful place. You have already defined yourself as a community member by using the term “heathen community” which means that 1. you feel you and your community are superior or 2. you have expereinced so much shit and predujdice that you feel inferior so have to promote a superior view of the those deemed to have caused the inferior view, mainly mainstream belief systems.Or 3. I am an ignorant stranger to Heathensim who needs educating in a none patronising way, which seems to be the common path of all those that think only ther are right in any belief system. But in doing so you are enforcing that type of us and them, superior, inferior mentality and it is a useless system, we are all part of a whole, none is better than another. Everyone needs to grow up in the belief realms i think. The vast majority of people have no belief in any spirituality be that Pagan, heathen or Christianity all they see is the now and me and my survival and that has been adequately expressed with the petrol pump facade of this week. We sit on a time bomb and you are contributing to it I’m afraid.
Wherever your vehemence comes from, I don’t think it stems from me or anything I have said or done. Your judgement calls on my life are completely unvalidated and unwarranted.
We live in a world where stress and frustration can cause us to react to ideas and situations in an inappropriate way, and towards people who are in no way to blame. And I am no longer accepting comments from you, as we do not seem able to communicate with respect or honour between us.
I wish you all the best.
Why refer to ‘Druidry’ in the past tense, and to ‘Zen’ in present?
Hi Dave – The first part of Druidry in my post was in the past tense, and the second should be read in the first tense – ie. ancient Druidry and modern Druidry today. I hope that makes sense! I’ve added the word “today” to the post to make it clearer.
I wanted to show that not all Druids today necessarily still follow Celtic/Brythonic/Welsh deities, on or around British soil, but that many encompass other worldviews in modern Druidry from other countries in which they may live.
No vehemence intended towards you, sorry for invading your blog. Just exasperation with intolerance and manipulation in general, not aimed at you either. Goodbye.
Joanna, I think you did a very nice Blog and it covers Neo-Druidism well. Much could be said about what I feel is todays lost Druids but not of it would really realte to your post. As to belly dancing, I believe it is great for the Hips and the eye. TDK
Hi George! Thank you. x
Great well said George, i’m glad you appreciate gyrating women, here’s one for the boys hey? x
Actually Alan, the gyrations are for the women, not the boys! We dance for ourselves, not for men – but everyone likes to be appreciated! x
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Great piece & blog.
You described my own spirituality better than I could 😉