Congratulations to New Priest Myles Cowherd


Myles and Paul in the San Francisco Zen Centre courtyard after the ceremony. Photo by Elliot Charney

Great congratulations to our friend and dharma brother Myles Cowherd, who was ordained as a priest on September 14 in San Francisco Zen Centre by our teacher Paul Haller. Myles lives in San Francisco Zen Centre but travelled to Benburb in May 2017 to sit sesshin with us and do jukai with a group of Paul’s other students. We hope he will visit again soon to show us his new robes. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos.


Paul ritually shaves Myles’s head during the ceremony, while Abbot Ed Sattizahn looks on. Photo by Elliot Charney


Myles and Paul share a laugh. Photo by Elliot Charney

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Myles with Paul and the others taking the precepts at Benburb in May 2017. Photo by Shundo David Haye

An Introduction to Zen, May 26

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Sunday, May 26, 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.