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: March 2 (10am-3.30pm). More information is available here, or we will shortly allow you to subscribe to our email newsletter for regular updates, with full details of the theme and schedule for each forthcoming One-Day Sit.
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
Urgent: One day Sit this Sunday 2 February
Due to several factors, Zen Open Circle will not be holding the previously advertised two day Non-Residential Retreat this coming weekend. we have also postponed until March the planned Special General Sangha Meeting, foreshadowed at our AGM last year.
Instead, we will be having a special new Year Extended One Day Sit this coming Sunday, 2 February, with our teacher, Susan Murphy Roshi. The sit will start from 10AM for 10:30AM to 4:30PM at the Buddhist Library, 90 Church St, Camperdown, Sydney.
Dogen Kigen ... To study Zen is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
Here is a rich opportunity to launch your new year of Zen sitting with an extended One-Day Sit, exploring the process and spirit of a Zen practice in the light of Dogen's description of the mysterious and fruitful ways the self both emerges into greater clarity and yet also darkens and dissolves from sight, under the scrutiny of a steady meditation practice.
10:00am: Shared set-up
10:30: Opening words in guided meditation
11:00 - 1:00 Zazen and Dokusan
1:00 - 2:00 SHARED LUNCH
2:00 - 2:30 Qi Gong gentle stretching and breath work
2:30 - 4:00 Zazen then Dharma Talk and Koan Inquiry
4:00 - 4:30 Zazen then Closing Words and Great vows
4:30 Shared pack-up
Newcomers: For basic orientation guidance, arrive at 10am.
Attendance for the whole day is strongly recommended to establish real depth of
practice and taste of retreat.
If planning to attend part-time, please commit to the whole block that follows lunch.
This day of meditation retreat is offered to you purely on a traditional dana basis. Bring lunch 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.