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Meditation events and practice support

Introduction to Meditation
Classes are offered every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evening at 7:30 pm at Heart of Wisdom and every Sunday morning at 10:00 am at Great Vow. They provide a brief overview of Zen meditation. They are free and open to everyone.

Investigating Zen Practice Retreats
These one-day events are designed for those interested in learning about and experiencing the practice of Zen Buddhism. The traditional forms of Zen practice are introduced, basic meditation is taught, and the group discusses how to maintain Zen practice at home and at work. You will leave with sufficient knowledge of Zen forms to be comfortable entering and practicing in a traditional Zen meditation hall.

A Zazenkai is a day of Zen practice, offered four times a year at Heart of Wisdom in each of the seasons. It is a full day of meditation, chanting, work practice, lunch, and a dharma talk. The day ends with a ceremony to renew of our intention to live an ethical life.

Beginner’s Mind Retreats
Zen Buddhism offers tools to harmonize the body and mind, allowing us to appreciate the freedom and spaciousness of life in the present moment. During these weekend retreats at Great Vow the monastic schedule is followed, which allows us to temporarily drop what’s outside and go deeply into inner work. All elements of a meditation retreat will be covered, including basic meditation techniques, posture, breath, formal meals, and facing obstructions.

A sesshin is an intensive, silent, group meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. It's an opportunity to spend time away from distractions to wholeheartedly engage in zazen. As the heart and mind settle, there is space to see the true nature of this life. Sesshin last from 6 to 10 days and are held at Great Vow. Sesshin are psychologically and emotionally demanding. Sleep is reduced and physical discomfort is a challenge all participants will face and should be expected. If you sense that the stress of focused, silent sitting meditation for 8-10 hours a day is not a healthy or appropriate endeavor for you, please honor your wisdom. If you have never attended a sesshin or Beginner’s Mind Retreat before, or if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of sesshin for you, please call the office at 503-728-0654 and ask to speak with the Director of Training. For more information about sesshin, please click here.

Interviews with a teacher
Sanzen, one-on-one interviews with a teacher, is an important part of zen practice. Literally meaning, Zazen together, sanzen traditionally takes place during meditation and is an opportunity to open your meditation practice to the teacher, and receive direct guidance and instruction. Sanzen is offered at Heart of Wisdom with Zen Teachers Kodo and Fuho on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings respectively, and with Hogen Roshi on Sunday evenings. Jogen Sensei is available most Wednesday afternoons for informal practice consultation by request. Hogen Roshi also offers sanzen on Sunday mornings at Great Vow.