The Christchurch Diamond Sangha Zen Group meets on Mondays between 7 and 9 pm at the home of Shona Pierce, 53 Heathcote Street, Woolston. This is on the Sumner bus route, only a short walk from the Woolston shopping area in Ferry Road. Please walk round to the back of Shona and Ray's house, and come in from the timber patio.
The group is led by Arthur Wells Sensei, who was authorised as a Diamond Sangha teacher in February 2008. Every Wednesday evening Arthur offers "dokusan" or individual interview, the purpose of which is to give personal guidance for sitting practice, to answer questions about Zen and to work closely with those people studying koans or practicing shikantaza.
All are welcome to the evening meetings, public talks, workshops and retreats that we run. Basic instruction in Zen meditation is given each time there are any newcomers. People may choose to sit in chairs or on the cushions supplied. Cushions are available to purchase for home practice. We ask for a gold coin donation for participating in the Wednesday evening meetings to support the group's activities and our NZ teachers.
Each Monday evening, after words of welcome and introduction, there are two 25 minute sitting rounds, with slow walking meditation for about five minutes after each round. This is followed by chanting the Heart Sutra or one of the other chants commonly used in Zen. After this there is a short talk from Arthur or one of the experienced members of the group, then discussion over tea and biscuits about the theme of the talk and any questions people wish to raise. The evening concludes with chanting "Great Vows for All" and three full bows.
Some prefer just to observe these ritual aspects of Zen, without participating, which is fine. You can catch the spirit of it just by watching. The Diamond Sangha is a lay lineage of Zen (i.e. non-monastic) that retains some traditional elements of Zen, not for the sake of being formally correct but because these practices powerfully alter the way our mind separates from experience. For example, in chanting we join our voice to others and become part of the great assembly of all beings, and in bowing we practice dropping separate ego and entering the vast, compassionate mind of a buddha.
The Dunedin Zen Group meets two evenings a week, once for Beginners Night and again for General Zen meditation practice.
Beginners Zen Meditation Evening is held at the Otago Polytechnic Room H601, on Tuesdays at 7pm.
H Block is on the corner of Union and Forth Sts. Use the main doors from the Admin side (F block) entry to H block will be open from 6.40pm. Take the right side hallway to find the lifts to the 6th floor. Room 601 is to the right exiting the lift. Our start time is 7pm so please come at least a few minutes early as doors may be closed after 7pm.
To view on a map go to the Otago Polytechnic website and zoom in, H block is #2 on the map, Admin is #1 on the map.
Beginner Zen Meditation focuses on learning and establishing the practice of Zen meditation. It is tailored toward newcomers to Zen practice and those establishing a practice for themselves. Here the sitting schedule is built up over a period of weeks. The aim is to give a clear introduction to the practice and form of Zen Buddhism with a solid personal experience of Zen meditation.
General Zen Meditation Evening is held Glenn's home at 37 James St, North East Valley on Wednesdays at 7pm.
1 km up North Rd, turn right at the ‘Makers Place’ church into James Street. #37 is the third from the top on the left. Again please arrive a few minutes early so we can be under way by 7pm. Please park on the downhill facing side of James Street, or up on Grey St.
The usual pattern of the evening is to sit for 25 minutes then have 5 or so minutes walking meditation then another 25 minutes of seated Zazen. This is followed by a few minutes of chanting, usually the Great Prajna-Paramita Heart Sutra, a selected reading and Great Vows.
Afterward we have a cup of tea and a discussion time, which may be initiated by a short talk by Glenn or questions or comments that arise from people in the group.
Glenn Wallis Roshi leads the gatherings and offers Dokusan (private meeting / encounter with the teacher for personal guidance) twice a month and Talks on a monthly basis.
There is a regular Zen study group meeting. We look at the texts we use, particularly from our chanting practice, as well as our readings and background literature. We look particularly at how it relates to us today and how to enact or embody the various virtues in our lives. Please contact Glenn for details.
We hold Zazenkai on the first Sunday of the month at 37 James St. We begin at 8am, alternating 25 minutes sitting Zazen with 5 minutes of walking meditation up until 11am when we begin sutra chanting. Dokusan with Glenn Wallis Roshi is available during Zazenkai. Ph (03) 472 7431