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).
We are happy to announce that our teacher Ryushin Paul Haller will be visiting us from Tuesday, August 28 to Sunday, September 9. Paul’s trip will begin with our five-day sesshin in Benburb Priory. The sesshin will start Tuesday evening, August 28, and end on Sunday afternoon, September 2. You can either attend for the whole period or for the weekend from Friday evening to Sunday.
Paul will attend morning zazen every day from Monday, September 3 to Friday, September 7, and will lead a sharing circle (with green tea!) in the zendo each morning after service. He will give a dharma talk on the evenings of Thursday, September 6 and Friday, September 7. On Saturday, September 8 he will be part of a poetry event at Crescent Arts with acclaimed poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Padraig O Tuama – more details soon! On Sunday, September 9, Paul will lead morning zazen at 10 am, and then give a dharma talk. Sunday afternoon he will offer a workshop entitled To Study the Way is to Study the Self, from 1 pm to 5 pm.
Tuesday, August 28 – Sunday, September 2
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. The application form is available here: Word / PDF
Monday-Friday, September 3-7
Zazen and sharing circle 7 am to 8.30 am
Thursday, September 6
Zazen and Dharma Talk 7 pm
Friday, September 7
Zazen and Dharma Talk 7 pm
Saturday, September 8
Poetry event at Crescent Arts (details to follow)
Sunday, September 9
Zazen and Dharma Talk 10 am
Workshop: ‘To Study the Way is to Study the Self’, 1 pm to 5 pm
(All events are at Black Mountain Zen Centre, 64 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2GT, apart from the sesshin at Benburb Priory and the poetry event at Crescent Arts)