I am posting this because I am a bit distressed over leaving my center and teacher of over five years, so I am looking for some support.
This is a transcript, of the conversation, "I am thinking about taking a one-month hiatus from the center", silence, "That's all I have to say", silence, *rings bell* which is my cue to leave, teacher says "what are you afraid of?"
I don't know if that's enough information for anyone to form an opinion, but he did seem angry over my leaving. Nothing else was said, not a thing. It's all so dry so I feel I am making the right decision. Comments? Personal stories about changing centers?
I keep weighting the pros and cons here, is that against Zen practice? Or am I just suppose to shut up and keep sitting?
It was time for you leave, I hope you are less distressed over your choice. Have you checked into other places yet? try the links on the www.buddhanet.net
site for your area. I think if the teacher wanted to find out exactly what you wanted then the teacher would have said so directly to you, nobody worth his/her salt would just ignore somebody coming for 5 years telling suddenly announcing they are leaving and not reach out to you.
I would think that if sessions are not direct, open and friendly, but stiff and stilted and minimal in conversation then they are of no use to you. It's no benefit if you just get quips and quotes and no direction personalized for your benefit based upon knowing your real progress and habits. It's not counseling or therapy like more of questions, answers considerations and plans, with advice and direction by the teacher.
when you visit your next place see what it is like, do they invite you to eat or drink tea? or are they ignoring you? clickish watching you with glances but not inviting you over or are they dragging you to the comfy seat or cushion with happy faces? are they happy, stressed, too busy to see you, or nervious or just plain out of it?
Just some suggestions that may get you thinking and figuring out what you like in community next time. hang in there!
Ven. Hong Yang