Dans un temple zen (In a Zen temple)

Dans un temple zen (In a Zen temple)
Novel, Arléa, 107 pages, 2017

When he was 20, following a sentimental disappointment, the narrator leaves for Taiwan without knowing too much about what to do with his life. He his invited by a monk to stay in a Zen temple in the north of the island. Unprepared for this experience, he discovers with the ingenious and confident eyes of youth the daily life of monks and nuns punctuated by meditation and study of texts. He learns meditation, gradually embraces an existence woven of simple passions, in harmony with a nature that echoes the poetic imaginary of China. He befriends those who chose the monastic path and share with him snatches of their past. He thus becomes Master of the Drum and therefore Master of Time.
This beautiful balance is broken with a sudden grace.
What the press wrote about the book

« The story of an initiation, full of humor and humility  »
Jean-Claude Perrier, Livres Hebdo

« A wonderful introduction to the rituals of such a place  »
Virginie Bloch-Lainé, Libération

« A beautiful story which offers more than the Four Noble Truths »
Frédéric Pagès, Le Canard enchaîné

« In a story of initiation, Sébastien Ortiz depicts with great modesty and great fineness the religious community which welcomed him.»
Dominique Aussegnac, Le Matricule des Anges

« A rich motionless journey through Buddhist impermanence.»
F.T., Pèlerin magazine

« A story of infinite grace, it reminds us how echoes of our past can resurface in an unexpected manner and bring us back to our deepest being. Luminous.»

«  It took me a short time to marry the monastic rhythm. It was, day after day, the same canvas, immutable as the flight of days. Two durations marked the individual and collective adventure: that of the search for inner peace and emptiness of the mind through meditation, and the one that organized the great cyclical movements of nature – the alternation of days and nights, the race of the stars, the rustling of the trees, the blossoming of the flowers, the fall of the leaves.
At four thirty the first sound of drums was sounding. The doors slid open, the monks came out silently, girded with their kolomo darker than the night