Frequently Asked questions about the London Zen Groups

I'd like to try zazen, can I come along to one of your Introductory sessions/ classes/ meetings?

YES! Please check the schedule for times.
Introductions are weekly = Wednesdays at 18:00, Thursdays at 18:50 (Mondays at 18:00 starting October 2022)
It’s very important to be on time.

I came last year (or other time span), is it OK if I come back?

YES! – Please check the schedule for times.
You may or may not want to come to another introduction – that’s up to you, best to turn up early just to get re-oriented. Everyone is welcome to come at any time, regardless of how long it’s been 🙂
There is no need to contact us in advance.

I've done lots of meditation in the past, do I need to come to an introduction?

YES! please –  if you’ve sat with a Soto Zen Buddhist group before, things will be very familiar to you and you probably don’t need an introduction, just come a bit early and tell the organiser that you’ve practised with Soto Zen Groups before, but it’s your first time here.

If you’ve done other kinds of meditation, we will probably have specific forms and etiquettes that may be unfamiliar with and harmonising is very important to us. So please do come, just once, for a short introduction just to see how we do things.

I usually sit with a different AZI-affiliated group - do I have to come to an introduction?

No, we do things roughly the same way in nearly all AZI (Deshimaru) affiliated groups, best turn up a bit early the first time so you can see where the zafus are kept, and learn of any local customs…

Are you still sitting on Monday ? (or Thursday, or whenever)

Please check the schedule – And DO CHECK the Front page Announcements/and/or/Calendar of Events!! We will post any closures up in these two places as well as announcing them on the email list – in fact – the email list is the place where it’s easiest to send out a last-minute announcement and we will do so – very rarely a problem with public transport or illness may result in a last minute cancellation.

Do I have to bring anything special?

Just your good self.  We have cushions, benches, chairs and mats for folks to use.
Oh.. and it’s best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, preferably dark or subdued in colour.  We sit cross-legged on cushions on the floor.

I'm a COMPLETE beginner - are these classes suitable for beginners?

One of the great things about zazen meditation practice  is that there is no advancement and nothing to gain.  Once you’ve had an introduction, then all our meetings are suitable for you regardless of how long or short a time you have been practising.