The Heart of the Zen Way with Paul Haller

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The Heart of the Zen Way

Online Practice Period with Paul Haller
January 23 to March 23, 2019

We have been given a wonderful opportunity to take part in the practice period that our teacher, Ryushin Paul Haller, is leading at San Francisco Zen Center’s urban temple. There is a special reduced rate for Black Mountain Zen Centre members.
Paul will offer an online meeting with Black Mountain Zen Centre on Thursday evenings from 7 pm to 8:15 pm for seven weeks during the practice period, beginning January 31. In addition, our Saturday morning reading group and Sunday morning talks will focus on the practice period teachings of the Heart Sutra.
We’ll also have access to:

  • The Livestream feed of Paul’s practice period class, The Heart of the Way of Zen
  • Downloads of handouts, readings, and exercises
  • Livestream Dharma talks on Saturdays which will be available to watch at any time.
  • Audio recordings of additional Dharma talks given on Wednesday evenings and during sesshin
  • An online zendo to sit with others each morning Monday through Friday (this will happen at 2:30 pm Belfast time so may suit those of us who can take time off during the day)
  • Interactive meetings with the practice leaders and other participants via video conference calls
  • Opportunity to have an online sangha relationship with other students via the practice period website

The theme of the Winter Practice Period is “The Heart of the Zen Way.” The heart, both the essence and the source of wholeheartedness, is enlivened by our sincere effort. Moment by moment sincere heartfelt effort creates the Way.

This Online Winter Practice Period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, discussion with the teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. At Black Mountain Zen Centre, we will make a sincere effort together to cultivate a spirit of openness and gentleness within the sangha.

The special reduced price for BMZC students will be $79 (approx £64).
Click here to register. 

An Introduction to Zen, March 24

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Photo: Shundo David Haye

Sunday, March 24, 1 pm – 4 pm

Find out how to use the teachings of Zen Buddhism to transform your life. During this introductory afternoon, you will:

  • Learn some simple techniques to help settle your mind
  • Find a sitting posture to maintain a quiet steadiness while you meditate
  • Design a meditation space to support a regular practice
  • Discover the path that can lead to an easing of anxiety and depression
  • Explore the practical aspects of the 11th step (for those in recovery)

We recommend loose comfortable clothing. The suggested donation is £10, but please donate whatever you can afford.

Settling the body and the breath cultivates a settled state of mind. Sitting in a balanced posture creates a quiet steadiness that can, with training, become our default state, a way to meet whatever happens with upright and calm awareness. When we regularly meditate in a space that is free from distraction and interruption, we can begin to discover a deeper level of stillness that stretches outwards from our limited self-absorbed world view. The preoccupations of our daily lives take up less space for a while as we give our active cognitive brains a rest and take the backwards step that turns the light inward.