Workshop: ‘To Study the Way is to Study the Self’

paul epp

Sunday, September 9, 1 pm—5 pm, suggested donation £25

“To study the buddha way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.” Eihei Dogen, Genjo Koan
Generally speaking, we’re caught up in the stuff of life. Then with Zen training we learn how to pause it. Then we pick up life’s issues again but with the insight that our dramas are not the whole story—that is, to realise it’s possible to relate to life’s challenges as a teaching on how to be more fully alive. Learning how to not be constantly struggling with the dramas of our life and instead creasing that struggle, if even just for a moment, helps create the space and ability to see more clearly what’s going on. Then we can learn how to relate to the very same dramas with skillfulness rather than stress; less agitation and more equanimity. Bringing awareness to body, breath and mind creates the capacity to see our habitual patterns of behavior and begin to drop them. In the dropping we can see the world in a new way—less as the product of our desires and concerns and more as the ever-unfolding manifestation of life. Each of us is part of that unfolding and at the same time expressing our individuality. As we realise this truth, we can start to bring an intentional response to what life presents.
This workshop will present the basics of Zen training of body, breath and mind and explore how to learn from the awareness they promote—an awareness that helps us to see how our personal experience co-exists with the experience of others and all life. This ongoing discovery is, in Zen language, the “Koan of Being Alive” (Genjo Koan).

An Introduction to Zen, August 12

shundo rose

Sunday, August 12, 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 leads to an easing of stress, anxiety and depression

Come to Black Mountain Zen Centre, 64 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2GT. Press the buzzer marked “Zen” and we’ll open the door and welcome you! Just bring an open mind – and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

The suggested donation is £10, but please just donate whatever you can afford.