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.
Keeping up to date
Special upcoming events
"Where you find humans
you will find flies
In March and April, Zen Open Circle will be holding several special events.
Firstly, on Friday 28 March from 7PM to 9PM, our teacher Susan Murphy Roshi will be giving a 'Dharma Gaia' talk at the Buddhist Library in Camperdown. This event will constitute a forum to present, inform, educate, inspire and discuss the interconnection between Dharma practice, deep ecology, the climate crisis and the urgency for change, using inspiration from art, poetry and music to foster sustainable living, survival and a new paradigm.
The next day, Saturday 29 March, Zen Open Circle will be holding an afternoon Zazenkai at the Buddhist Library (90 Church Street, Camperdown). Please arrive at 12:30pm (for a 1pm start). The afternoon will conclude at 4:15pm. Entitled 'Sangha become complete: The uses (and misuses) of conflict', it will include both Zazen (meditation) and Dharma discussion.
Newcomers: For basic orientation guidance, arrive at 12:30pm.
This afternoon of meditation retreat is offered to you purely on a traditional dana basis. Bring afternoon tea to share for the social potluck meal, and dana for the teacher. The teacher relies on your offering to cover her living expenses in providing the teaching.
Following the Zazenkai, Zen Open Circle will hold a quick Sangha (community) meeting, focusing on revamping the Zen Open Circle website. This meeting is expected to finish at 5PM.
Easter Samu Retreat at Cloud Mountain
36 Wattamolla Road, Woodhill (via Berry)
This year, instead of an autumn sesshin we are inviting your participation in a samu (work-practice) long weekend over Easter to help make Cloud Mountain sesshin-ready for dates later in the year in winter and spring. Further details are available online in Zen Open Circle's March newsletter.