Zazen Meditation: Workshop and Practice


Zensho-an Temple in Tokyo was founded in 1883 by Tesshu Yamaoka, retainer of the last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. The Zen temple was established as a place of repose for the spirits of those who died during the Meiji Restoration and the demise of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Since then, Zensho-an has become renowned for Zazen meditation and Zen mindfulness.

Zen teaches that gods, Buddhas and enlightenment all exist in our own minds; indeed, as Chinese priest Zhongfeng Mingben (1263-1323) once stated, “Zen is the name of the mind.” Thus, central to Japanese Zen Buddhism is the practice of meditation. However, Zazen is not ‘ordinary’ meditation. Rather than keeping eyes closed to focus on some definite mental image, during Zazen, the eyes and ears are open to whatever is to be seen and to be heard. Existence in the here and now is prized over isolation from reality; the ability of the mind to remain unmoved by material things is paramount.

Zensho-an is said to be the most popular temple for Zazen, with waiting times for meditation sessions exceeding more than two months. It is particularly popular with Japanese ‘salarymen’, politicians and those with high-pressure jobs, as Zazen provides a means for them to deal with the stresses of their daily working lives.

The Foundation is delighted to offer this unique opportunity to experience a Zazen workshop and to learn more of its history and practice.

Date: 8 June 2016
Venue: Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP
Tel: 020 7486 4348
Organiser: The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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