Coming for an Introduction
Please plan on attending an introduction the first time you come they are held weekly at each of the North and South and Central groups, and are held by arrangement at the Southeast (Brockley) group.
Everybody is welcome to attend
It’s very important to be on time as introductions start promptly at the posted time
Introductions are: 7pm Thursdays and 5pm Saturdays at Caledonian Rd., and 6:00pm Tuesdays at Old Street.
they are by arrangement at Brockley (Thursday mornings, Tuesday evenings – contact Anette for an introduction)
The introduction is not meant to be a ‘course’ on Buddhism, on meditation, or even on Zen. It is simply an introduction to our practice of Zazen, and to the various forms and etiquette we use. Once you have attended an introduction, you are welcome to come and practice with us, or indeed with any affiliated group, whenever you like.
Introductions take approximately 20 minutes.
Zazen is quiet, attentive, wholehearted sitting – it is a formless meditation; without mantras, counting, levels, or visualisation. We sit still, in the correct posture, letting our thoughts pass, without grasping or rejecting.
Our periods of zazen are normally about an hour long, with a 5 to 10 minute interval of Kinhin (slow, concentrated walking) in the middle. Morning schedules are a little different, and often we sit straight through the hour, with a short interval in the middle to stretch and change legs.
After Zazen, we will chant a few short sutras, you will be given a sheet with the words so you can join in. We chant our sutras in sino-japanese you can see a copy of our regular chants and a translation here. Our morning sittings often have a little more ceremonial aspects afterwards, including prostrations.
If for some reason we need to cancel introductions or Zazen at a scheduled time, a notice will likely be posted on this website, on the front page under “announcements”, but will most certainly be announced via our mailing list – which you can join here.
What to wear
As you will be sitting on a cushion (called a zafu) on the floor, please wear loose fitting clothing. Also, it is customary for us to wear dark or subdued colours and to dress modestly to avoid distracting other practitioners.
To help us pay for the cost of room hire, rent (gas & electric, etc etc), we humbly request a donation for your participation. We would like to suggest the follow amounts to help keep us going. You are, of course, free to give according to your circumstances – more or less according to what you can afford. Remember, we never want lack of money to be a barrier to practice.
||Contributing on a monthly basis may be easier for you, and we suggest the following amounts to cover you for all the London groups and all the sittings.
If you would like to donate monthly by standing order, please ask the person in charge of zazen for the bank details or our paypal
Note about our costs: we are entirely self-funded, this is why we beg all participants – including the facilitators – to contribute something. Ordained participants are asked to give more, and all facilitators give their time freely to support practice – if you have any questions feel free to contact us.