On the third Sunday of the month SZC offers an extended meditation experience (zazenkai) at our city zendo.
Coming together to do zazen for an extended period provides an opportunity to deepen our practice. Zazenkai can be an introduction to longer practice, and is a good preparation for sesshin (retreats) where we sit for multiple days. Zazenkai is a rich practice format that includes a dharma talk given by a teacher or senior student, a sutra service, extended zazen and dokusan (interview with the teacher).
January 20 – Dharma talk by and dokusan with Jane Andino. She will be discussing motivations and aspirations with reference to Case 16, ‘The Sound of the Bell‘
February 17 – Dharma talk by Helen Redmond and dokusan with Gillian Coote, roshi. Helen explores Zen practice and environmental activism: Springing from the Same Source.
Helen Redmond has been involved in Zen for over 30 years, has been a doctor for 25 years, and has been an environmental activist for Doctors for the Environment Australia for 9 years. In her dharma talk Helen explores how how her love of nature brought her to Zen practice and how her practice in turn has deeply inspired and informed her work protecting the environment. She asks the question – how do we live an embodied practice in a time of environmental loss and change? How do we respond and act? Is there anything we can do?
March 17 – Maggie Gluek, roshi will guide a ceremony and sharing circle ‘For the Animals’
Millions of fish poisoned in the Murray-Darling Basin, half a million cattle dead in the Queensland floods, wildlife trapped in bushfires, a small brown rat just declared extinct. Increasingly, human impact on the planet is disastrously affecting its non-human populations. Whether through environmental toxicity, habitat loss, warming temperatures, or extreme weather events, many species are under threat.
At this zazenkai, instead of the usual dharma talk, there will be a memorial ceremony for these animals and all others who are innocent casualties of the Anthropocene age. An opportunity to acknowledge and mourn the loss of fellow beings. A sharing circle will be part of the ceremony and anyone attending is invited to speak of—or on behalf of—a particular species, perhaps with a photo or recollective object. Ways to protect particular endangered populations might emerge as well.
April – No zazenkai this month (Autumn Sesshin)
May 19 – Dharma talk by Peter Bursky
June 16 – Samu (work practice) at Annandale replaces zazenkai this month. There will be zazen from 8.30am, a Dharma talk at 9.30am by Gillian Coote, roshi and work practice till 4pm. Bring some food to share for lunch
July 21 – Dharma talk by Brendon Stewart, dokusan with Maggie Gluek, roshi
August 18 – Dharma talk by Jill Steverson, dokusan with Gillian Coote, roshi
Jill Steverson will give a talk at Zazenaki on Sunday about the privilege and challenges she experienced being with her mother through her journey of frail age and recent death. Also how sharing such a journey can be an astonishing, but often short-lived, wake-up call to our own mortality.
September 15 – Dharma talk by and dokusan with Paul Maloney, roshi
October 20 – AGM with potluck lunch replaces zazenkai – 9-10am zazen, meeting starts at 10.30am
November 17 – Dharma talk by and dokusan with Maggie Gluek, roshi
December – There is no zazenkai this month