tl;dr: More writing coming soon; value uncertain.
I've been teaching a weekly class for about two and a half years now, and over that time my class plans have gotten progressively more detailed and unwieldy. It's getting to the point that I often don't have enough time to say everything I've planned to, which cuts into meditation time. In a meditation class, that's... less than ideal.
Recently, there have been a few occasions when I haven't used the class plan, and have instead just followed the usual class outline (opening sit, talk, movement, closing sit) without any notes to back me up. It's been nice - I'm not so tied to my iPad, and I don't overrun because I shut up when it's time for the movement practice.
On the other hand, I kinda like planning. I spend a lot of time on it. Often, I'll do some research. And I'm just not interesting enough to speak extemporaneously every single week without any kind of prep work. Also, from time to time I've shared previous class plans with people and they've been useful, so it's nice to have something written down.
So the new plan is that, once a week, I'll write an article for this blog, and save it as a draft. Then I'll use that as the basis for the talk that week, and finally publish the article after the class has happened (so no spoilers). Maybe that will be of interest to people who can't make it along to the physical classes. It'll also allow me to exercise another of my passions (I like writing but don't find time for it any more), and it'll add a bit more of my personality to what is otherwise a fairly bland website (which might be good or bad, depending on your taste...).
That's the experiment; what's the caveat?
A question I've considered a lot lately is: 'Who am I to be teaching people about Zen?' I've been practising for about twelve years (I'm not sure exactly when I started), and I've had a certain amount of experience over those twelve years, but I regularly meet people with thirty or forty years of practice experience, compared to which I've barely begun. I'm nothing special, and, as keen as I am to share the practices that have been so valuable for me, I do sometimes wonder if calling myself a teacher is just a giant ego trip.
Still, people keep coming to my classes, so evidently at least some people get some value out of them, and perhaps by posting articles here, a few more people will benefit too. For my part, I'll do my best to give credit where it's due, rather than try to pass off the words of the great Zen masters as my own ideas - hopefully I won't pollute their teachings too much as I put them into my own words.
New articles will be posted most Thursdays, assuming I wrote something new that week and didn't have one of my improv sessions instead.
I hope you find something of value in these writings.
Matt has been practising meditation for over ten years and hopes to share these powerful techniques for the benefit of all.