I believe in the power of balance between man and nature based on our accountability to the world we live in. My focus on ancient paths of Zen and Tao combined with my business knowledge brings old and new wisdom together for desired harmony.

The Earth is an abundant planet, prosperous with its 7 seas. We are here to enjoy the marvellous wonders of the world. I believe this brings with it the role of stewardship and personal accountability.

My mission, and the purpose of all my activities is to contribute to Earth’s revival.
What's the point of practicing Zen - Jeroen van Deutekom
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What’s the point of practicing Zen

“Why do you practice Zen? You could spend your time on something else. What’s the point of practicing Zen? Questions I used to ask myself regularly. Why am I actually doing this? And what does it bring me?

I also hear these questions during the Zen introduction courses I give. Recently, I went deep into these questions in detail during a conversation with a communication advisor who helped me set up a new website for my Geomancy, Feng Shui, Chi Kung, and Zen activities.

A tricky matter indeed. On one hand, I need to make my message smart and tangible, using simple language, focussing on results and guarantees, all while taking care of the commercials. On the other hand, I need to offer the intangible, the spiritual motives and experiences.

“I increasingly understand those old Zen masters who gave the answer ‘no idea’ or ‘no knowing’ to such questions.”

My personal story

When I worked at KPMG years ago, I had the opportunity to take a course ‘Zen and Management.’ It was a pretty business-like approach to tasting Zen: more Zen gives less stress and better choices. Which manager wouldn’t want that? And when I first sat down on the meditation cushion during that course it felt like coming home! I felt that it was something I would like to do much more often. Why, I didn’t actually know. There have also been more than enough moments afterward when I wasn’t so sure about it. In fact, sometimes I wanted to throw my Zen cushion out the window. I obviously had good reasons to do so: too busy, too calm, too healthy, too sick, too happy, too angry, too early, too late…

Over the years, the inner turmoil became quieter. It became more of a matter of just sitting, not making a fush about it. An invisible hand guided me to my meditation spot, as Nico Tydeman so beautifully puts it.

Structure helps

Structure in your Zen practice provides support. The (almost daily) online meditation with a group is a good example. Because there is a cadence in time and days, and a warm group of people being this online Sangha, it supports people in shaping their Zen practice and making them feel supported in their lives. It doesn’t entail any fuss: just sitting, in connection. The early hours remain a challenge for some though. 

After all those years on the cushion, I have gotten to know myself better. Or to put it another way, I increasingly recognise all kinds of patterns, beliefs, ideas, concepts that I carry within me. I came face to face with not only the fun things, but certainly also the ugly things. And by being able to recognise that, I can be more flexible, adaptable. I have less need to act out of Ego. Noticing the moments when I or the other person gets stuck. And that is truly liberating. 

A beautiful practice

When I started Zen, people asked me, ‘You’re not going to become such a ‘happy egg’, right?’ And I gave the socially desirable answer: ‘Of course not!’ But nowadays, I can no longer deny it. Not that I’m 24/7 that ‘happy egg’ (just ask my housemates). But remarkably often, I do have the sentence in my head or mouth: ‘that’s a beautiful practice.’ My dear Zen master sometimes goes crazy about it. Such a sentence sounds flat and easy, rolls off the tongue nicely. But as far as I’m concerned, it has infinite depth. It is a summary of the four Bodhisattva vows.  

Everything you encounter in your life is your Zen path. And, just to be clear: I don’t always manage to see it that way. Sometimes I’m just stuck in my me-myself-and-I-complex. 

For everyone, the Zen path is different. With more or less headwind, with more or less depth, with more or less joy. It’s not a matter of good or bad. It is just your Zen path. Practicing Zen on your cushion, the conversations you have with your Zen master, the connection you have with the Sangha members – everything supports you on your path whether you experience Zen as a tool or as an art of living.