Our sits are every Tuesday at 6.30pm in Ramsey. If it's your first time, please contact us first to arrange an introduction at 6pm. It's free and equipment is provided. We meditate for two half hours with 5 minutes' walking meditation in between. Beginners meditate for the first half hour only.
Zen Meditation IoM is in the tradition of Soto Zen, as taught by Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland. A trainee who has received instruction from the monastery can guide you through the basic meditation technique. Straight-forward 'just sitting' is all we do in the session, and anyone can do it regardless of age, profession or religious leaning. Find out more about Zen on the Abbey's website. Once a year, a Zen master visits us from the Abbey to give talks and instruction.
You can learn on your own by following these free guidelines ("Sitting Buddha" by abbot Rev. Daishin Morgan). There's also a DVD of instructions available via the store on that page. Another warmly recommended way to learn is to attend a weekend's introductory retreat at the monastery; there are direct flights from IoM to Newcastle, which is about an hour from the abbey.
Zen meditation is accessible to every age and physical ability, aside from that we haven't yet found a wheelchair-accessible venue. Most people find low meditation stools or ordinary chairs the most comfortable. If you can, wear something that you can comfortably sit cross-legged in.
Sessions are free and you will not be asked for payment. Those who can, contribute £2 towards the room rent when they attend a session.
Email 4therealzen [at] gmail.com, tel. 818024, www.facebook.com/zenisleofman.
Main Studio, 1 Old Post Office Lane, Ramsey IM8 1DP. Old Post Office Lane is between Pure Inspirations gift shop on West Quay, and Fentons Hardware at the end of Parliament St. Ring the bell for the Main Studio at the glass doors. There's lots of parking and regular buses from across the island.
Meditation is key to Zen practice, reading is not! However for those who are interested these are some recommended books.
Daishin Morgan, Sitting Buddha. The basics of Zen practice by the Abbot of Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey. Available online and in audio form on http://www.throssel.org.uk/sitting-buddha-book
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen. An easy-to-understand book by a teacher renowned for her wisdom about lay practice such as relationships, choices, feelings, ideals and boundaries.
Daizui MacPhillamy, Buddhism from Within. The chapter headings by this Zen master say it all: Faster Horses, Older Whiskey, Radical Sobriety, Things Are Not What They Seem, Laws of the Universe and So, Is This a Religion?
John Snelling, The Buddhist Handbook. This is a comprehensive and relatively easy-to-read book if you are looking for an overview of the different Buddhist traditions and history.
Shundo Aoyama, Zen Seeds. Beautifully written, down-to-earth reflections by a Japanese Soto Zen priestess.
Daishin Morgan, Buddha Recognizes Buddha. Relevant to beginners and advanced practitioners alike, this recent book addresses faith, hope and values from the Zen practitioners point of view, and includes commentaries on key scriptures. Available from www.wisdom-books.com and www.buddhistsupplies.co.uk.
Gabriel Cohen, Storms Can't Hurt the Sky. An autobiographical, sympathic book about getting through divorce the Buddhist way.
Sara Burns, A Path for Parents. Burns shows from experience how to turn the stress of parenting into productive spiritual practice, in the midst of the daily chores.
If you wish to take up Zen meditation regularly, we recommend that you meditate at home every day, even if it is only for 5 minutes at a time. Experienced practitioners usually only sit for 10 to 35 minutes at a time, up to twice a day. We will explain more about continued practice in your introductory session and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. If you wish to use a specially made cushion (zafu) or a meditation stool they can either be handmade or found on for example eBay and Amazon. Suppliers and DIY instructions are widely available online for example on www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/supplies.