Practice with Us

Blue Heron Zen Community offers a variety of events to inspire your Zen practice and encourage the development of a supportive community.  Regularly scheduled events include:

Introduction to Zen

If you would like to learn Zen meditation or are new to our Zen center, we invite you to join us. We offer brief introductions weekly at our Tuesday Guest Nights. Or, if you’d like more thorough instruction, we offer occasional  Fundamentals of Zen Workshops.

In either case, you’ll learn the basics of Zen meditation and see how this simple, ancient practice can help you and those around you.

Group Meditation

Please join us for group meditation.  Choose the day and location that’s convenient for you and feel free to attend whenever you like.  There’s never a charge for regular group meditation practice, though donations are welcome.

Retreats

Blue Heron Zen Community offers 1-, 2-,3- and 9-day retreats throughout the year.  Retreats allow us to delve more deeply into the practice, without the distractions of normal daily life.  Silence is maintained throughout the retreat. Teachers gives interviews (private face-to-face meetings) during the course of the day.  Retreats are suitable for both beginning and experienced students, and include vegetarian meals.  If your schedule does not permit full participation, you may join us for a portion of the retreat.  Retreats are held at our Seattle practice location, unless otherwise noted.  More information is available here.

Kong-An Interviews

Kong-an training is multi-faceted.  Initially, kong-ans are used to give us a map of the territory of Zen, bringing us into a relationship with the basic cognitive aspects of Zen teaching.  Secondly, kong-an training shows us those places where our karma prevents us from seeing clearly.  Kong-ans function like acupuncture for the brain, opening up those areas of our thinking and behavior that are hidden from our view.  Finally, kong-ans create the sense of great doubt (our “don’t know mind”) that is so essential to Zen insight.  Check the calendar for upcoming scheduled interviews.

Consulting Interviews

Consulting interviews give students a private opportunity to discuss personal practice and life issues with a senior dharma teacher.  Check the calendar for upcoming scheduled interviews.

Residential Training

Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle provides opportunities for students to live and train with an established Sangha in the Zen tradition of Zen Master Seung Sahn.  More information is available here.

Public Talks

Periodically we offer public talks that address aspects of Zen teachings in an informal setting.  There is always opportunity to engage with questions and comments from the audience.  These are open to everyone, with or without experience in Zen practice.

Ceremonies

Blue Heron Zen Community celebrates two traditional Zen Buddhist ceremonies every year : Buddha’s Birthday in April and Buddha’s Enlightenment Day in December.  We follow the ceremony with a vegetarian potluck and a sangha meeting.  Everyone, including Zen students, families, friends, and any interested person, is cordially invited to attend any of our ceremonies.