Regular sit................                 ................Retreats & Workshops

“How to become intimate with your life”
...with Arthur Wells and Mary Jaksch...

A Weekend Workshop to be held on 7 - 8th February at 53 Heathcote St, Woolston, Christchurch.

The heart of Zen is called many things such as ‘realising our true nature’ or ‘awakening to our Buddha nature,’ and the sheer variety of these expressions is sometimes confusing. Really, all of these terms point to just one thing, the experience of intimacy. Intimacy is profound acceptance and inclusion, as well as bright and specific connection. To develop our capacity for intimacy is the purpose of our workshop.

Zen is essentially a deep study of the nature of the ‘self’ – a self that turns out not to be what we thought! We will look at how the old masters like Linji and Dogen formulated this study of the self, however the aim of the workshop is not at all academic, but rather to explore how each of us directly experiences the self. First we will work on intimacy with our own breath and body. The next step after that is becoming intimate with our own thoughts and emotions. These are fundamental matters. Zen goes nowhere until we can truly love and welcome rather than remain inwardly split off from our own physical body and thought-stream.

When we have established ourselves firmly on this foundation of intimacy, the next miracle can happen, which is the discovery that the self has no fixed boundaries other than the ones we create with our minds. When the sense of separate self dissolves, usually after the mind has become still, we suddenly become astonishingly and freshly intimate with some feature of the natural world that we always thought was ‘outside’ of us. This is the ongoing and endless nature of awakening in Zen -- it just keeps on unfolding. New tears flow as we realise again and again our connectedness with everything and with one another.

Workshop Programme:

Early mornings, Saturday and Sunday:   You are invited to join us for zazen at Arthur and Elisabeth’s home, Riccarton. Mary Jaksch Roshi will offer dokusan during this time, and you are invited to stay for breakfast. Please arrive about 7 am. We will have tea and begin sitting at 7.15. Breakfast will be at 8.30, and we will depart for the workshop at 9 am.

Saturday 9.30 – 12.30: Introductions, followed by periods of guided sitting alternating with teaching and discussion sessions (Break for morning tea about 11 am).

Saturday 1.30 – 4.30: Workshop and meditation sessions, with a meditation walk in the area if weather suitable (Break for afternoon tea about 3 pm).

Sunday 9.30 – 12.30: Continue workshop and meditation sessions continue, ending with a closing circle in which we reflect on what we learned.

For further information and to book email Di

EASTER SESSHIN,    Canterbury,    April 2015
...with Mary Jaksch Roshi and Arthur Wells Roshi...

Sesshin will run from Thursday April 2nd to Wednesday April 8th 2015.       Please note it is starting and finishing a day earlier than previous years.

There is a 4 night option from Thurs 2nd to early evening, Mon 6th April.

Sesshin (Japanese: “Touching the heart-mind”) is the foundational longer retreat that serious Zen practitioners everywhere try to attend if possible once or twice a year in order to keep their practice deep and strong. It is a full programme of silent meditation, walking, eating, resting, hearing talks, having face-to-face interview with the teachers, cleaning and food preparation, all of which is conducted in the traditional Zen way. The ritual formality of our retreats is actually much reduced from the Japanese tradition, however we retain this much because it provides the psychic safety and containment necessary for people to feel at ease and drop deeply into meditative stillness throughout the six days of Sesshin. To enter wholeheartedly into Sesshin is to experience personally the essence of the Buddha’s own discovery about freedom from mental anguish. People leave Sesshin feeling refreshed, more emotionally stable and more joyfully alive to each moment of experience.

For further information email Arthur or phone him on 348 4656

Click here for Info and Rego pak - "Word" version or Info and Rego pak - "PDF" version. Please send in your Rego pak by 27th March. 

click photo to see St Martins Island

Click here for a meal planner for retreats