Saturday Mornings are from 9:30 AM to 12 noon and are led by Jenny. We meditate for three 25-minute periods, with walking meditation in between. There is a tea break and discussion. We learn from each others’ insights and leave room for the unexpected, sharing the ways the practice weaves through our lives.
Once a month, we call the Saturday morning “Koan Salon.” The time is the same and there isn’t much difference, except Koan Salons are led jointly by Jenny and Michael, there’s always a new koan, and sometimes the added element of an out-of-the-box exercise.
Monday Evenings are from 6:30-8:30 PM and are led by Jenny. We meditate for two periods of 25 minutes with walking meditation in between, followed by a tea break. Jenny usually gives a brief talk and participants are invited to share with her in informal conversation. For more detail visit our Calendar.
John Tarrant Roshi and, sometimes, other Pacific Zen Institute teachers, visit occasionally to lead longer retreats at True Nature Zendo. If you’d like advance notice of these retreats, let us know via our contact page.
If you are new to meditation or to koans and would like to come to an introductory meeting, let us know. When enough people have expressed interest Jenny adds an orientation to the schedule. At these meetings, about 90 minutes long, she walks slowly through all the elements of the practice. The periods of meditation are short, and everything is carefully explained. Koans are introduced in an unintimidating way and questions are encouraged throughout.
Our practice is to bring koans to life in our meditation and in our daily life. We work with a single koan each time we come together for meditation. And we see what happens. Our focus during meditation and during sharing is on what arises inside of us in each moment. Our koan is the teacher, and what arises is the teaching. As facilitator, Jenny (sometimes with the help of Michael) tries to support the holding of this focus throughout our time together.
During sharing anyone is invited to give voice to what has arisen during the meditation or in that very moment. The facilitators will respond, either by just saying, ‘thank you for sharing’, or by comments designed to deepen or clarify in a helpful direction. Sometimes insight arises from what someone else says. When that happens feel free to speak up, but we encourage you to keep the focus on yourself without addressing the other person. Let the person who spoke before have their experience; let you yourself have yours; and let the facilitator take care of following up.
When someone is asked to fill in as facilitator, the guidelines are modified. After someone shares, the facilitator will simply say, “thank you”.
All meditation events are by donation. No one is turned away for lack of funds! Please visit Our Community page for more information on how we support our practice.