An Introduction to Zen, October 6

shundo 6

Sunday, October 6, 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. Free parking is available in St Anne’s Cathedral. The suggested donation is £10, but please donate whatever you can afford. To register, click here

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.


Ryushin Paul Haller Autumn Visit 2019

paul 2018Our first practice period, The Path of Liberation, will culminate with a visit from our teacher Ryushin Paul Haller from Wednesday August 21 to Sunday September 1, and there will be many joyful opportunities to experience his wisdom, good humour and insight. Paul will attend morning zazen on Wednesday, August 21, Thursday, August 22,  Friday, August 23, and Monday, August 26, and will lead a sharing circle (with green tea!) in the zendo each morning after service. He will give a dharma talk the evenings of Wednesday, August 21, Thursday, August 22,  and Friday, August 23. On Saturday, August 24, he will offer a morning workshop for beginners (and experienced students interested in the more subtle details of zazen) from 10 am to 1 pm called The Essentials of Zazen and an afternoon workshop from 2 pm to 5 pm on the theme of the practice period, The Path of Liberation. On Sunday, August 25, he will lead morning zazen at 10 am, and then give a dharma talk, followed by an opportunity for discussion over a cup of tea. Sunday afternoon from 1 pm to 4 pm he will offer a half-day workshop, Establishing the Path of Practice. 

All of the suggested donation amounts are to help us to cover Paul’s expenses. You are very welcome to attend even if you can’t support us in this way – your presence is the most important thing. If you can afford to make a larger donation, that will be gratefully received.

Details of the events, including sesshin, are listed below. All events are at Black Mountain Zen Centre, 64 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2GT (press the buzzer marked “ZEN”),  except for sesshin, which will be at Benburb Priory.

Wednesday, August 21
7 am to 8.30 am: Zazen and sharing circle

7 pm: Zazen and Dharma Talk

Thursday, August 22
7 am to 8.30 am: Zazen and sharing circle

7 pm: Zazen and Dharma Talk

Friday, August 23
7 am to 8.30 am: Zazen and sharing circle

7 pm: Zazen and Dharma Talk

Saturday, August 24
10 am to 1 pm: Workshop: The Essentials of Zazen
Suggested donation: £25

2 pm to 5 pm: Workshop: The Path of Liberation
Suggested donation: £25

Sunday, August 25
10 am: Zazen and Dharma Talk

1 pm to 4 pm: Workshop: Establishing the Path of Practice
Suggested donation: £25

Monday, August 26
7 am to 8.30 am: Zazen and sharing circle

Tuesday, August 27 – Sunday, September 1
Sesshin at Benburb Priory.

The sesshin will start Tuesday evening and end on Sunday afternoon. You can either attend for the whole period or for the weekend from Friday evening to Sunday. Please follow the details on the application form in order to apply. An updated application form is available here: Sesshin application