Participate – Join In
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 groups, and are held by arrangement at the Central/Warren Street and Southeast (Brockley / Crofton Park) groups.
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.
Coming to Zazen
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 (and other expenses), we ask for the following contributions for attending introductions and Zazen:
||Paying monthly allows you to attend as often as you like, at any of our London sitting groups
If you would like to pay monthly by standing order, please ask the person in charge of zazen for the bank details
We never want lack of money to be a barrier to practice. If it’s an issue for you, please speak to the person in charge.
Note about cost: we are entirely self-funded, we ask all participants – including the facilitators – to contribute. Ordained participants are asked to pay more, and all facilitators give their time freely to support practice – if you have any questions feel free to contact us.