Sweeping Heart Zen has taken root in Gloucester in 2017. We’ve grown as a website and settled in as a center for meditation and Buddhist practice. Consequently, I think it’s a good time to write a post to (re)introduce SHZ to our growing community of members, readers, and friends. The Buddha described his teachings as, “…visible here and now, immediate…, to be experienced by the wise.” That is, he invited us to inspect, test, and experience his teachings firsthand. The Buddha did not offer his teachings as dogma. They’re not a catechism-like checklist of ideas to believe. On the contrary, the teachings are experiments in living to be tried and tested. One asks, “Do I grow in joy, peace, and contentment as I practice these teachings? Do the people close to me suffer less as I grow in this way of life?” Testing the merits of the teachings and the value of the techniques can be likened to mindfulness in action, to compassion in action. Consequently, the Sweeping Heart Zen Way is practical, experiential, broad minded, and nonsectarian.
Why the name, “Sweeping Heart Zen”? To begin, The “zen” in Sweeping Heart Zen refers to a centuries-old, inspired-way of living that’s informed by the teachings of the Buddha.
These teachings are known as the Dharma. When we live the Dharma we learn to be harmless to ourselves, to other beings, and to nature. Aspiring to harmlessness is the heart of the Zen way of life. We are commitment to nonviolence, to nonharming, to nonaggression, to loving-friendliness, and to joy; we oppose war and teach peace in all cases.