A travelogue across the breadth of Japan to explore the practice of modern day zen. We will take you from the
bustle of rush-hour Tokyo to the tranquil mountains of Kyoto. From zen centers hidden among skyscrpaers to
the zendo in a remote monastery. With unrestricted access, we will take you into a world outsiders rarely see or
hear about. It is a world where material wealth is exchanged for spiritual wealth. Where the mind is trained and
conditioned like an olympic athlete.
Zen training is explored in The Zen MInd through the practice of zazen or sitting meditation and kinhin (walking
meditation). With interviews, demonstrations of sitting and actual practice, we take the lid off the many miscon-
ceptions that abound in zen meditation. While the cloistered lifestyle of the zen monk is in decline in Japan, zen
meditation is spreading rapidly in the west. Typical of this modern approach to dharma practice is the Dogen
sangha, a zen center in Tokyo where commuters stop on their way home for zen meditation. It is a complete
contrast to the remote mountain monasteries where formal buddhist rituals are zelously maintained.
This contrast heightens as we enter Japan’s largest Soto zen monastery and join the monks in their everyday
workplace, cooking and cleaning. Before and after their work is done they will sit in zazen. We will take you
into the zendo or meditation hall and like a fly on the zendo wall, witness the monks as they begin what will be
many hours of zazen and sometimes through the night. Only the abrupt crack of the roshi’s stick on the monks
shoulder breaks the silence as he summons them to focus, flushing out any thoughts... erasing self-doubt and
ego... clearing a path to self-realization.
The Zen Mind soundtrack is by Christopher Yohmei, a grandmaster of the shakuhachi flute.
The Yoga Gurus
The opium war
Dances with the Wind
The Holy Mountain
The colours of love
Marketing the Messiah