The world of Zen is internal, timeless, unconscious, soulful and joyful. Meditation helps ground one's natural flow towards"beginners mind." Children naturally embody this inner-zen, which becomes the objective for all adults who are caught in the world of ego.
This externalized ego world, the world of “Jen” is time-bound, driven by cognitive thought processes that attempt to control and master our unconscious mind. With approximately 60,00-80,000 thoughts firing at us every single day, our inner Zen is heavily compromised.
The merging of these two worlds, Zen with Jen, inner with outer, timelessness with time, unconscious with conscious, soul with ego, playfulness with responsibility is the union and discovery of the Zen of Jen. It is a daily practice of sitting quietly on a cushion or couch, allowing our bodies and minds to become still enough to listen to the wisdom of our own intuition and inner guides.
Dr. Jenni was born in Johannesburg, South African in 1970 at the height of Apartheid. She immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1977, growing up in the heart of middle America. Her and her older sister Terry, assimilated to America, losing their South African accents while endlessly making fun of her parents. Her mother Laraine, a psychiatric social worker provided the whole family with endless entertainment with her one-of-a-kind intellectual viewpoints and accounts of her colorful life experiences.
In The Zen of Jen play, Dr. Jenni draws upon her South African childhood as the backdrop for her day-to-day life as a psychotherapist and mother of three in West Los Angeles. Each client moves the audience closer to their own catharsis and truth.
One Woman's Journey back to South Africa
Beginning with Rainer Maria Rilke's question, "Earth, isn't this what you want: an invisible re-arising in us?" and a poem from "Sonnets to Orpheus," which beckons,
O woe, where are we?
more and more free,
like kites torn loose
we chase in mid-air, with edges of laughter
This short film documents how my ancestors escaped from Germany during the Holocaust, arriving in South Africa. Like a "lone feather," my grandmother Isabella personified a zen-like quality, falling into the unknown with the trust and "beginners mind" of a child.