We welcome newcomers and will try to make your entry 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, Insight Meditation or related tradition, and 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 taking up Zen practice and participating in our group.
When you contact us, please provide some information about your practice experience 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 our style of practice.
When you contact us, we will initially send you some information about our group’s activities and clarify your experience and needs. We may suggest a Zoom or phone interview with the teacher. Then, if you arrange to attend one of our Sunday evening sittings, we will offer you a short orientation before the sitting starts. Orientations require pre-arrangement.
There is no cost for your early participation, but if you can, please make a small donation on sitting nights (via the donation box just outside the Zendo door) to help us 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 which will be sent to you when you first contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you via our Contacts page.