Starting this month, the monthly, Saturday half-day meditation (zazen) events have restarted. Before COVID, these events happened with a frequency of about once a month. Back then, we would meet at the Network of Religious Communities building and would do zazen from 8:30 to 12:30. Zazen would be done in silence for the whole morning. There would be periods of walking meditation (kinhin) between the six time periods of zazen. Participants were requested to stay for the whole four hours if possible.
During COVID these more intense in-person zazen events, like all our other events were put on hold. Now that we are meeting in person, our number of members have recovered, and there is a renewed interest in having these events we started them again. However, to accommodate those who are younger in the practice of Zen Buddhism or just have a difficult time spending the whole Saturday morning away from their regular personal responsibilities, we have divided the six periods of zazen into a set of 3-each with a break in between. This allows those who can do the first three periods of zazen, but no the last three, or vice versa to participate. The whole morning is still done in silence. And there is kinhin in between the periods of zazen.
We now have dates for these monthly events for October and November at the Network of Religious Communities building. In December, we will have another event to correspond to the celebration of the Buddha's Enlightenment, but the format of the December event will be more in line with a vigil format where participants can come and go as they feel they need. This event will also be in silence.
These events are just one of the many ways those seeking to learn more about Zen Buddhist practice can experience the full range of spiritual practices. If you have an interest in learning more, please fill out our contact information for to get in touch with you.
David Kozen Williams, MRO has been a formal student in the Mountains and Rivers Order since 1997.