Robert Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic
Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Thursday 01/26/2023
Mn. Rakusan delivered this talk in the midst of New Years’ sesshin, asking, what is the relationship between prayer and zazen? Both involve reverence, devotion, faith and a willingness to be open to whatever arises in our experience. Rakusan draws on an essay by Ken McLeod called, “Where the Thinking Stops,” and goes on from there to tap several mystic voices, including St. John of the Cross. Another mystic, Leonard Cohen, provides the soundtrack, as it were, to this talk with his 1969 incantation, “Lady Midnight.” Through it all, Rakusan encourages us to keep going above and beyond ourselves and see how and where prayer fills our lives.