April-May 2021 Intensive: The Harmony of Zen and Vipassana, Online with San Francisco Zen Center, April 19 – May 8

Teachers:

Gil Fronsdal

Ryushin Paul Haller

Furyu Nancy Schroeder

The Harmony of Zen and Vipassana

April 19 – May 8, 2021

Registration is due by Wednesday, April 14. To register at a 75% discount, please click here.

About the April – May 2021 Intensive

Both the Zen and Vipassana traditions originate in the Buddha’s teachings on meditation.

Zen is the Japanese pronunciation of dhyana, the word the Buddha used for concentration states, and Vipassana is the word the Buddha used to refer to the insights derived from these concentration states. For the Buddha, Zen and Vipassana are integrated aspects of meditation practice, working together in harmony. With this common origin it is not surprising that, in modern times, Zen and Vipassana meditation may have as much in common as they differ.

Please join Senior Dharma Teacher Paul Haller, Green Gulch Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder, and Zen and Vipassana Dharma Teacher Gil Fronsdal for discussions and explorations of this interface between Zen and Vipassana. Fu, Paul, and Gil are friends who delight in discussing the Dharma together. In this intensive, the three teachers will provide instruction in meditation practice, Dharma talks and discussions, and will share with participants their lively discussions of Dharma topics.

There are two tracks of participation in this program:

  • The Flowers of the Dharma: Exploring and Enjoying the Essence of Buddhist Practice
  • The Roots of the Dharma: Becoming Rooted in Buddhist Practice

Participants in both tracks will have the opportunity to sign up for a weekly small group meeting. Small groups consist of 12 – 14 participants and are led by a practice leader from Insight Meditation Center, Green Gulch Farm, City Center, or an affiliate Branching Streams sangha. Prompts for the small groups are provided by the leaders of the Intensive.

The Flowers of the Dharma: Exploring and Enjoying the Essence of Buddhist Practice

This is a program of participation for people on the East Coast and Europe. We have listed the timetable in Belfast time (Ireland and UK). Please add one hour for Slovenia, Norway, France, Spain or Germany, two hours for Greece.

(All times are Belfast/UK/Ireland)
Monday – Saturday
15:00 – 15:30Guided meditation
15:30 – 15:45Dharmette
Monday – Friday
18:00 – 18:30Meditation
18:30 – 19:00Dharma Talk and Conversation between Fu, Paul, and Gil*
19:00 – 19:15 Break
19:15 – 19:45Q & A; discussion
19:45 Sitting ending with dedication of merit
Thursday 
3:30 – 4:30 amDharma Talk: Paul, Gil, and Fu will each give one talk over the three-week period*
Saturday 
16:15Conversation with one of the teachers
17:25 – 18:00Meditation
18:15 – 19:15 Dharma Talk: Paul, Gil, and Fu will each give one talk over the three-week period*
*A recorded video will be available for those who cannot attend live

The Roots of the Dharma: Becoming Rooted in Buddhist Practice

Includes all events listed for Flowers of the Dharma, with additional participation in these events:

(All times are Belfast/UK/Ireland)
Monday – Friday 
13:50 – 14:50Zazen with a five-minute interval
15:50 – 15:05Morning service
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
1:30 – 2:10 amZazen
Mondays: April 19, 26, May 3 
3 – 4:30 amOpen conversation with teachers. (A recorded video will be available for those who cannot attend live.)
See Online Zendo daily scheduleOnline Zendo

Our First Shuso Ceremony

shuso 5

Andre holding the traditional shuso fan, left, with our teacher Paul Haller, for whom the ceremony was the culmination of many years of guidance at Black Mountain Zen Centre

shuso 1

Back row: Garret, Esther, Deirdre, Pauline, Joe, Djinn, Andre, Mary, Paul, Pat, Billy, Jonny, Jimmy, Tony, and Alastair. Front row: Sean, Eilis, Nuala, Suzan, and Steve

Last weekend, on Sunday, September 1, 2019, the sangha of Black Mountain Zen Centre gathered in the meditation hall at Benburb Priory for our first Shuso Ceremony. This ancient ceremony is also know as “dharma combat”, or “hossen shiki”, a lively question-and-answer between the head student – the shuso – and the assembly that confirms the shuso as being ready to teach the dharma. Kogen Doin Andre Elsen, who has been shuso during the practice period this summer, took the seat and gave a really good series of answers that manifested his thoughtfulness and wisdom and his deep tenderness for the Black Mountain Zen Centre sangha. Despite living in Germany, Andre has been practising as part of our sangha for many years and has been teaching us in many ways, both through his upright practice and his understanding of Zen forms, gained through his time in Tassajara, the monastery in California. The shuso ceremony last week was a confirmation of the position that he has unofficially held for so long, and an official acknowledgement of his role as a teacher and a practice leader. Great congratulations and many deep bows from all of the sangha, far and near.

shuso 3

Visiting teacher Myozan Kodo Ian Kilroy, front, in brown robe, joined us for the ceremony

shuso 4 (2)

Andre celebrates!