Episode Description: In this talk, Henry explores the dedication required for long term Zen practice. He quotes Rilke’s words, “Everything in nature tries to become itself against all opposition,” and considers Gustav Mahler’s “Song of the Earth,” which centers around a set of Tang dynasty poems. Henry places Zen in the historical context of the Tang period in China, when many of the koans we study originated. The Tang period was culturally rich but also catastrophic, with a civil war almost a decade long right in the middle of it in which two thirds of the Chinese population died. Henry shows that Zen was forged in great adversity.
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