Workshop: Essentials of Zazen

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Saturday, September 8, 1:30 pm—4:30 pm, suggested donation £25

Led by Ryushin Paul Haller
In this workshop we will discuss and practise how to establish the essentials of zazen – awareness of posture, breath and mental/emotional activity. There will be a detailed instruction on how to sit upright in a balanced and relaxed way, how to cultivate awareness of breath and how to sustain awareness in the midst of mental and emotional activity.

Workshop: ‘To Study the Way is to Study the Self’

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Photo by Shundo David Haye

Sunday, September 9, 1 pm—5 pm, suggested donation £25

Led by Ryushin Paul Haller
“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).