Over the summer, the Oak Park Zen Community consecrated a vast hula mound Althouse built in the back yard — two large, enjoined grassy knolls that together form the shape of a yin-yang symbol....All right, then. Althouse says, have some joy in the midst of chaos.
"Hawaiian spirituality is in some ways opposite of Zen because there are in excess of 40,000 gods and goddesses" in its pantheon, [Tanoue] explained....
There is a spirit in the dance, she said, that complements, rather than competes with, her Zen practice. "The sacred is how we treat our experiences, how we're open to them," Althouse said. "We don't create something sacred. We find it right where we are by the way we deal with experiences. I think hula is very much an expression of that, and obviously, I also think that Zen is a way to access that.
"Hula's operating on a lot of different levels, metaphorically and psychologically. It's very hard to pin these things down, but when you see it, you recognize it," he said....
"Like now, for example," she said, referring to the tense climate we're all living in right now, with economic, political, societal and spiritual uncertainty all around.
"It's a good example of transforming something by approaching it with a lightness of heart," Althouse added. "Having joy in the midst of chaos."
October 25, 2008
You may be thinking: It's always Ann Althouse. Why can we hear something about the other Althouses around the country? Okay! Let's start here, on a blog called The Dude Abides (subtitle: "An Existential Crossing Guard at the Intersection of Spirituality and Pop Culture"). The blogger, Cathleen Falsani, attends a hula class at the Zen Community of Oak Park, which was founded by Abbot Robert Joshin Althouse and his wife June Kaililani Ryushin Tanoue.