For newcomers to Zen, an Introductory Workshop is held in Auckland every other month at our Church Street zendo. Completion of a workshop is a prerequisite for attending sittings at the AZC unless you have already received instruction in Zen meditation and ritual elsewhere. Even if you have practised elsewhere, a workshop is recommended, as a way of getting a solid introduction to the style of Zen practised at the AZC. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Workshop dates for 2014:
Advance registration is recommended.
The workshop starts at 9:00 a.m. with a welcome and talk by Sensei Amala Wrightson on the basic principles of Zen Buddhism. At 10 a.m. we move to the floor for detailed instruction on the sitting postures employed in Zen meditation (zazen). Besides the traditional Lotus posture, other cross-legged positions as well as Japanese-style kneeling or seiza, and the use of a chair are shown. Proper breathing is demonstrated, as well as walking meditation (kinhin), and procedures for group sitting. How to bring meditative awareness into one's daily activities is also discussed.
Following morning tea at 11:00, participants sit for two short guided periods of zazen, during which each person's sitting posture receives individual attention. The morning ends with instruction on practising Zen at home and a Q&A period focusing on practical issues that arose during people's zazen, wrapping up by 1:00 p.m.
Information for Participants
Helpful background reading is The Three Pillars of Zen by Roshi Philip Kapleau, a Western Zen classic still in print and available in many libraries.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing suitable for sitting on the floor. Mats and cushions are provided (as well as chairs for those who need them.)
A donation is appreciated. We suggest $40 for the waged, but feel free to offer less (or more) according to your circumstances. The AZC relies completely on donations from participants to cover expenses.
Some books and incense will be available for sale after workshops, and sitting cushions and benches may be ordered. Please note that we are not set up for EFTPOS, so please plan to bring cash or cheque for any purchases.
Everyone who completes the workshop is invited to attend the sitting and talk the following Tuesday evening (or on another Tuesday). Please let us know before you come for the first time; we will arrange for someone to meet you at 6:30 p.m. and give you a few minutes' instruction on using the zendo that we don't have time to cover in the workshop.