The practice of Zen meditation fosters an ability to live in the present and experience reality fully. The practice is not complicated but it is subtle, and we learn the form by doing it again and again; it is through the repetition of simple actions that we go through the process of clarification, insight and development.
The Zen group meets regularly on Tuesday evenings at 6:15 pm and ends at 8:15 pm, with members arriving at 6:00 to be seated and ready.
We have informal tea and welcome practice related discussion afterwards.
General Notes for all Zen meetings:
"Learning the form is part of Zen practice"
Doors are unlocked at least 15 minutes before practice starts. Please arrive a little early so you are ready to sit on time. If you are attending for the first time please come early in order to receive a brief orientation (call or email ahead of time if possible). Clean up is done after practice ends, and help is welcome.
We sit zazen for 20-25 minute intervals, alternating with 5-10 minutes of kinhin (walking).
Participants are expected to do their best to follow the form: bowing, walking, sitting, chanting and taking tea with the group. This maintains an environment suitable for practice. Most people start with slight instruction and learn the rest by following along with the group. This takes time and one needs to have patience with oneself in the understanding that any new practice feels very foreign at first, but over time it comes to feel natural.
Once new members feel confident with the basics they are welcomed to learn about and take-on the more complex leadership roles.
We practice in the Japanese Rinzai Zen tradition as taught by Eshin (Abbot of the Zen Center of Vancouver). You can listen to several dozen dharma talks by Eshin on the web site of the Vancouver Zen Centre.