We welcome newcomers and will try to make your transition into our group as smooth as possible. However, Zen practice is demanding, and so we recommend that you undertake some preparation before coming to the group.
Since our core activity together is silent sitting practice (meditation or zazen as we call it), it may be best if you have some experience of sitting practice in a Zen, Vipassana, Insight Meditation or related tradition, and if you also sit privately at home. If you do not have this kind of experience, we will be happy to provide you with advice about how to establish a sitting practice. For some people, attending an introductory mindfulness meditation group and beginning practice at home may provide a basis for later taking up Zen practice and participating in our group.
When you contact us, it would be helpful if you provide some basic information about your practice background so we can advise you appropriately.
Reading one of the books by Charlotte Joko Beck or other Ordinary Mind teachers may help you to understand the style of practice we undertake.
When we first arrange for you to come along to the group, we will offer you a short 30 minute orientation before one of our regular sittings. Orientations are offered about once a month and require pre-arrangement.
There is no cost for your early participation, but if you are able to make a small donation on sitting nights, that is always appreciated and helps us to meet the hire costs of our sitting place. Once you’ve established a pattern of regular practice with us, you can become a member, which entails payment of an annual membership fee. Inability to pay is never a barrier to participation in our group.
In order to answer some of the common questions that newcomers have, we have prepared an Information sheet for newcomers to the group which contains some additional information. Contact us if you would like to receive it.
We look forward to hearing from you via our Contacts page.