Monday, 24 August 2015

Back from hols! And new routines...

OK so I'm back from family hols now, and getting my head back into my normal routine!

As I'm back, it's a good time to come for your first visit if you've not been before. Byul & Nancy came for their first visits last week; think my head was slightly still on vacation so the talk at the end was a bit scatty & unfocused. [Hope haven't scared you off entirely...!]

I wanted also to reiterate that we've agreed on a bit more structure in how the monthly sessions are organised so that we can fit all we want to do. We recently started having a monthly service on the first Weds of the month, I've started to give a monthly talk too, and we also want to fit in some sessions looking at traditional texts - should be some interesting stuff to have a look at, yet not let some of the more difficult material completely bamboozle people new to this sort of thing.

So new structure is that after the usual two periods of zazen, we'll do the following every Wednesday in the month:

Week Session
First Wednesday "Formal night" - Service (wear robes if you have 'em), with short reading afterwards (or possibly Q&A, or pointers on form & ritual... or anything else that people want to do). Oh - and this isn't a great week for first visits if at all possible!
Second Weds... Contemporary reading - currently we're looking at Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Third Talk by Alasdair - my "dharma internship" :-)
Fourth "Sutra study" - Don't want to make this too formal or scary! We'll start with Red Pine's translation & commentary on the Heart Sutra*
Fifth Contemporary reading again - not many months have five Wednesdays... but Sept 2015 does!
* A PDF file of the translation itself is available at

Nothing's set in stone here - we'll do this for a couple of months and see how it goes.

If anyone has texts they're keen to be covered, bring it up one evening as suggestions are always welcome.