Zen Open Circleis a lively and very Australian Zen community that is open to every sincere enquirer, without exception.
What is Zen? What is ‘Zazen’?
Our practice is seated meditation (‘zazen’) in shared silence, together with walking meditation, some sutras and bows, talks and conversation with our Zen teacher. Zen invites us to wake up from the small dream of the self by paying steady, loving, open attention to the present moment. More about Zen meditation and how we practice.
Weekly group meditation takes place every Friday from 6-8pm at Sangha Lodge, 20 Victoria Street, Lewisham. Easy parking, and only 50m from Lewisham Station. All are welcome including newcomers, but people needing more detailed orientation are encouraged to come to the next available Full-day Sit (see below) to meet with the teacher. Get map and more detail.
One-Day Sits with the Teacher
We also meet on the first Sunday of most months this year, for a One-Day Sit with the teacher, from 10.30am-3.30pm, at our old home, The Buddhist Library, 90 Church Street, Camperdown. Join us for a full retreat day of practice and teaching, plus a chance to share food and catch up. Newcomers welcome – orientation provided. Get map and more detail.
Susan Murphy Roshi is our founding and resident Zen teacher, as well as being teacher for the Melbourne Zen Group (mzg.org.au). She is a joint lineage holder in the traditions of Diamond Sangha stemming from the late Robert Aitken, and Pacific Zen Institute, stemming from John Tarrant. Our line of Zen includes both Soto (‘just sitting’) and Rinzai (koan introspection) streams of practice. More about Susan Murphy Roshi.
2014 Sesshin Dates
2014 Sesshin dates and places to be finalized and published here shortly, but will include an Easter retreat (April 18-21), mid-winter weekend retreat, and traditional 7-day Spring Sesshin in late September/early October.
In addition, Susan will be leading a traditional 7-day sesshin with Melbourne Zen Group in the beautiful Yarra Valley, April 5-12, and a non-residential 3-day city-based retreat in Melbourne, June 7-9. ZOC members are entitled to attend such events on a concessional basis. Find out more about Sesshin
Regular Zazenkai (One-day Sits) are scheduled with our teacher on the first Sunday of most months throughout the year, at the Buddhist Library and Meditation Centre, 90 Church Street, Camperdown. These are vital opportunities to meet our teacher in private interview, Dharma talks and other activities, and to experience practice in real depth with the wider sangha.
Upcoming dates: 29 March (12:30pm to 4:15pm). More information is available here, and you can also subscribe to our email newsletter for regular updates (see the form below).
We also have several other regular events, such as a Sutra Study class, and extended Sesshins (retreats) which typically run for a week several times a year. For more information on the Sutra Study class contact Merran Dawson.
About Membership of Zen Open Circle
ZOC is a not-for-profit community organisation created and maintained purely for your benefit by volunteer labour. Maintaining it is an act of dana, offered on behalf of all who value the Dharma. Our own individual acts of dana (membership dues, as well as volunteering where possible) are the most immediate way we can simply say, ‘Thank you for that!’
Your contribution counts! Among other things, it helps pay for such vital matters as renting the Buddhist Library for our monthly one-day retreats, our group liability insurance cover whenever we practice together, as well as providing financial assistance to people who could not otherwise afford to attend sesshin. It ensures our present and future financial resilience in meeting all the costs of offering a regular program of practice opportunities.
It is also necessary to become a financial Member in order to be able to attend sesshin and to have a vote in Sangha Meetings on any issues that are financial in nature. Do not allow yourself to be inhibited by the suggested contribution: whether you have genuine financial difficulty in meeting that - or feel motivated and able to offer more – your contribution will be accepted with respect and gratitude.
But membership is much more than a ‘bottom-line’ matter. Our financial contribution, along with volunteering our time for tasks or projects, realises (makes real) the value we place both on our practice and on each other’s chance to practice - and the way ZOC offers us the chance to explore that precious opportunity in real depth. You will find that committing to Membership deepens your motivation and adherence towards your practice, and your connection with Sangha.
In other words, membership makes practice and Sangha not just possible but solid and real. So please apply for Membership, or renew your Membership, as soon as possible by completing the form here.