Entering the Buddha Way: A six-week class with Ryushin Paul Haller

Dear Followers of the Buddha Way,

After a recent online sesshin on the theme of Entering the Buddha Way, it occurred to me that the same theme could be the basis of a class. So I’d like to offer a class starting on Monday, September 28, titled “Entering the Buddha Way”.

In the sesshin the core notions I presented were: Leaving home/staying home; Sustaining engagement; Cultivation; Immersion; and Discovering harmony. The class will unpack each of these notions using classic teachings and contemporary commentary. In addition to the weekly class there will be suggested practices and the option of joining a small group that will meet weekly during the class to share participants’ experiences in practicing with the teachings. The class will be online and will happen from 10:30 AM to 12 noon Pacific Standard Time (6:30 PM to 8 PM Belfast time). A recording of each class will be emailed to class members, so you’ll be able to participate even if you can’t be available at 10:30 AM.

Please contact Djinn at reverendmyogan@gmail.com for more details and to sign up.



Morning Zazen in our Online Zendo


7 am – 8 am Monday to Friday; 10 am – 11 am Saturday and Sunday

Join us for morning zazen via Zoom, with two 25-minute periods of zazen separated by 10 minutes of kinhin.

The times are:

  • 7 am to 8 am Monday to Friday
  • 10 am to 11 am Saturday and Sunday

(All times are local Belfast time.)

We will open the online zendo approximately 5 minutes before the scheduled time. Our Zoom ID is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7630773412


Zendo Closed


In the shadow of Covid-19, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close the zendo until things settle down. We encourage you to think of this time as an opportunity to sit quietly in your own space. If you are free in the afternoons, Monday to Friday, online zazen at San Francisco Zen Centre happens at 12:50 our time (it will change to 13:50 on Sunday, March 29): https://www.sfzc.org/online-programs/online-zendo

Here is a poem by Lynn Ungar that expresses a way to practise at this challenging time:


What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 11/3/20

Online Sesshin, September 8 to 13: Entering the Buddha Way

“Sesshin is a time to deeply care for and collect body and mind.” 

Dear Dharma Friends, 

If you’ve ever sat sesshin with us, you’ll be familiar with the traditional “sesshin admonitions” that are read aloud on the first evening, encouraging us to dedicate ourselves to a rigorous schedule within the physical container of sesshin.

But how can we sit sesshin in the familiarity of our own homes? Can we turn our daily life into a sesshin? These are the questions that prompted us to design a schedule that will be a container for our sitting practice over five days, from Tuesday to Sunday, September 8 to 13. The theme of the sesshin will be “Entering the Buddha Way”. The day will start early in the morning in Belfast and Slovenia and continue across the time zones, ending at 8:45 pm in California. We will have a dharma talk from Ryushin Paul Haller every day (7:30 pm in Belfast, 11:30 am in California). See the schedule below. 

This new way of practising together will allow and challenge us each to design our own participation to accommodate our needs and our responsibilities. The hope is that you’ll make a schedule that you commit to completely follow and also take care of the practicalities of your life. If you can’t attend every sitting, please negotiate a way of being in your day-to-day life that expresses sesshin practice.

There will be an online Zoom zendo available from 6 am until 8:50 pm Belfast time, with members of the Belfast sangha taking care of the timing and the bells, and we need the support of some participants in the US who can take over at 4 pm Pacific Time and keep the zendo open until 8:45 pm Pacific Time, with a break from 6 pm to 7:30 pm for dinner. If you would like to be one of the Zoom doanryo for this, please contact Djinn Gallagher at reverendmyogan@gmail.com and she will arrange a training and give you the access code for the Black Mountain Zen Centre Zoom account. 
To register for the sesshin, email reverendmyogan@gmail.com. This teaching is offered freely, and if you’re able to make a donation you’ll be supporting our sesshin and future events.

The sesshin will begin at 7 pm, Belfast time (11 am California time), on Tuesday, September 8.

Belfast (+1 in Slovenia)
6:00 AMzazen
6:45 AMkinhin
7:00 AMzazen
10:45guided meditation
12 noonlunch, exercise, work
break6:00 AMzazen
3:30 PMguided meditation7:30 AMguided meditation
4:45group discussionbreak
7:30dharma talk11:30dharma talk
8:50 PMend of day/refuges12:50refuges/lunch/ work
4:00 PMzazen
5:15group discussion
8:45 PMend of day/refuges