Hi, and welcome to the Sydney Zen Centre.
We are a group of lay-zen practitioners, which means that we have regular jobs and lives, but we also have a regular mediation practice, study zen texts and engage directly with zen teachers (or Roshis as they are known ).
People come to zen practice for a variety of reasons, some for the many health benefits now known to be linked with meditation or mindfulness training. Others have questions of a philosophical or metaphysical nature and are seeking answers to this. Some of us just had an itch and an inkling that here we would find some answers. Some seek clarity or to manage a condition of some kind. And some pursue wisdom and the development of character.
Zen training offers all this and much more, with enough training, zen practitioners come to a balanced and zestful experience and understanding of life.
Our Sangha was founded by Robert Aitken Roshi and is associated with the Diamond Sangha, a world wide network of Zen Buddhists and was founded in 1979.
How to train in Zen? what was passed down from the ancestors?
Our beginning methodology for those new to zen is a simple breath counting technique linked with breathing. You count up to 10 (if you can!) and then start again. If the mind wanders (and it will) we begin again at 1. This brings to the students awareness the state of 'monkey mind' which we are all victim to at times and is a solid training technique that even advanced practitioners return to.
We will also teach you about posture and different forms of sitting (cushions, stools and chairs). We will cover walking and sitting meditation. The structure of our evening sits is usually as follows:
6:50 The Han - a series of strikes on the wooden board calling us to meditation
7:00 Sutras (Group chanting - you will be given a book to follow along with,)
7:15 Kinhin (Walking meditation)
7:20 Zazen (Seated Meditation)
7:45 Kinhin 2 (Walking meditation)
7:50 Zazen period 2 (Seated Meditation)
8:15 Kinhin 3 (Walking meditation)
8:20 Zazen period 3 (Seated Meditation)
8:45 Kinhin 4 (Walking meditation)
8:50 Great Vows & Announcements
We hold orientations on alternating Mondays and Wednesdays, bookings are essential - please visit:
choose the appropriate date and request a booking.
For more information on the Sydney Zen Centre, please visit our website:
Sydney Zen Centre Website
Dharma Talks From the Sydney Zen Centre Podcast are posavailable here:
You can also follow us on Facebook
Please note that we charge a $10.00 Facility fee for all visits to the centre with the exception of your orientation which is free with a booking. There is no need to RSVP to your orientation night as this will request a payment - rather please go to the bookings above.
All the best,