Sunday Morning Programme for Beginners


Starting November 24, we will be offering a newcomers’ programme on Sunday morning once a month. From January 2020, it will usually be the first Sunday of the month, unless there’s a sesshin or other event happening – January 5 will be the first beginners’ Sunday of 2020.

(We invite experienced practitioners to come along as allies to support and give a friendly welcome to newcomers!)

The Sunday Beginners Schedule:

  • 9:45 am  – Doors Open
  • 10:00 am  – Meditation Instruction
  • 11:00 am – Break
  • 11:20 am – Meditation
  • 11:40 am – Talk with Questions and Responses
  • 12:00 pm – Tea and biscuits with the community

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