"We don’t call Autumn the end of Summer, we don’t call Summer the beginning of Autumn (Genjo Koan)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marginal Zen

NIGHT BROTHER’s Zen (Ch’an) Way

Also on Sweeping Zen: http://sweepingzen.com/2009/12/22/augusto-alcalde-bio/

Augusto Al Q’adi Alcalde was born in the north west of Argentina, and grew up in a small country town in the hills, "San Pedro de Colalao", where he was exposed to the world vision, metaphors and healing traditions of the primal inhabitants of the land, through the company of his aboriginal nanny Virginia Mamaní.

He was a student of the late Shifu Yuan Chueh from Canton, China, with whom he trained from 1968 until he was fully certified by his teacher, ten years after, being him the most influential relationship in the Way.
He started sharing and conveying the practice of Ch'an (Chinese Zen) in 1974.
The Tradition in which his teacher Yuan Chueh was rooted was the "Chin Lien Chia" (Golden Lotus), a tradition that embraces the arts of meditation as the play and actualization of full attention (T'so Ch'an), with the play of the Internal Martial Arts of china (the Nei Chia Ch'uan), including T'ai Chi (Chen Style) and Pa Kua of the Huang Pei Family, together with the short arts of Chi Kung (vital energy practice) and Chinese Yoga, as well as the Healing Arts of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The Chin Lien Chia is a school that conveys Ch'an practice in the context of stillness, movement, healing, and everyday life and activities, deeply rooted in the primal Taoism of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.
Yuan Chueh's focus was, as is Augusto's, that true Ch'an practice has to be rooted in the traditions of Primal Taoism, early Budhism or Theravada (The Way of the Ancients), as well as in the Mahayana (The Great Way), together with the study and involvement with the traditions, myths and cultures that belong to the land and the original dwellers of the land in which the practice and everyday life is happening.
Augusto has been a libertarian social activist since the 60's in Argentina and part of the resistance to the military genocide and oppresion during those dark years of latinamerica.
He has been also working with engaged buddhists associations as a libertarian social activist, for many years, and focuses on social issues from a Latino and Ch'an vision.

He networks with indigenous peoples and groups from Latin America and the world that are engaged in actively resisting the deadly works of ignorance, greed and hate.

He is a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, as well as an Indigenous Herb healer since 1974, a practice that he considers his true vocation.

An amateur journalist, writer and poet, has published articles, books and booklets in spanish, as well as interviews and articles both in english as in spanish journals, on the practice of Ch'an, Chinese medicine, Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Taoist Yoga, and the need of a new and socially involved heart, bridging in his presentations the liberation myths and practices of both the primal cultures of South America with the practices of the Tao and the Buddhayana, the "Way of Awakening and Flourishing".

He conceives group practice as community practice. one of healing and walking together, with no hierarchies, rituals, fixed forms, roles or structures, and open to all true traditions.

The focus is on a truly lay, working and socially active person's practice and play, aside from monastic archetypes, multicultural, and willing to contain and be contained by all beings.

It is emphasized the importance of social involvement as an outcome of living, understanding and seeing, given the crucial point in which the Blue Planet and the many beings that inhabit her are, in accordance of the words of Gautama: "only one thing i convey, the understanding of the causes, and the stopping of suffering", or to say it in another way, the arising of true joy, dance and dignity, and the full acceptance and realization of humanity as our nature..

He does not, thus, consider himself a "Teacher" with capital letters, in the traditional sense of the word, with some special or unique realizations or qualities, but a "Kalyanamitra" an ancient dharma term that means something like "soul-heart friend", or, as he likes to translate it, "compañero of the way", or "soul mate" (with no capital letters), or, as a musician and poet Hawaiian friend said, "Night Brother".

The focus then is on joy and learning, mutually, in any occasional changing role that one has in life, and the practice and application as work and everyday life and relationships and social action for a better world.

He has been teaching in Argentina (since 1974) and in Chile, Mexico, Hawaii and Australia since 1984, and before this he has been living and teaching in Hawaii, as well in Argentina, where he lives and has his own clinic practice, as well as leading a health project inside unemployed workers movements and indigenous peoples resisting oppression and genocide.

He goes to those places to coordinate practice and teach as well as engaging in healing work in the way in which he is now sharing practice with, after moving aside the traditional Zen guide role that he was doing before, in the Harada-Yasutani lineage of Soto Zen and as a student And Dharma Successor into that lineage.

In each visit he leads Zen intensives (both residential retreats and everyday-life-home-based ones), Chinese Internal Arts of Movement workshops and intensives, clinic practice, and meetings on the practice and joy of social involvement and action, linking the engaged dharma with the view, vision and dance of resistance expressed through the ways and myths of the ancient cultures of Central and South America.

He offers as a means of continuity of the relationship, the practice and the play, e-mail correspondence as needed, and phone contact once a month, for all the people that have participated in any of the activities, and are interested in sharing about their practice, play and application.

TCM Dr. Augusto Al Q’adi Alcalde (Roshi):

For contact, classes, courses or teachings, both in Argentina as well as
internationally, please drop an email.

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