I will lead a local zazen session. Help!

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  • Kyonin
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
    • Oct 2010
    • 6742

    I will lead a local zazen session. Help!

    Hi guys!

    Some friends asked me to help them have a zazen session on December 7th. While I have helped small groups before, this could be a big one.

    It will be a one time session and that's fine. But they asked me to talk a little about zen and minimalism and that's where I get nervous. Speaking 15 + people will be odd!

    I was wondering if you had experience doing this. If so... could you please share some tips?

    I know that when I'm there I'll be nice and calm, but now it gets a little scary. :mrgreen:
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39459

    #2
    Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

    Originally posted by chocobuda
    Hi guys!

    Some friends asked me to help them have a zazen session on December 7th. While I have helped small groups before, this could be a big one.

    It will be a one time session and that's fine. But they asked me to talk a little about zen and minimalism and that's where I get nervous. Speaking 15 + people will be odd!

    I was wondering if you had experience doing this. If so... could you please share some tips?

    I know that when I'm there I'll be nice and calm, but now it gets a little scary. :mrgreen:
    Speak from the heart.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Taigu
      Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
      • Aug 2008
      • 2710

      #3
      Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

      Just be.

      gassho


      T.

      Comment

      • Myoku
        Member
        • Jul 2010
        • 1487

        #4
        Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

        I would make myself a little roadmap, as for me it would be other way around,
        ok now, but very nervous at the event. This roadmap would be just a list of a
        few topics, so I not forget what to say to them and in which order. I woulndt
        make any detailed concept or anything, just so that I not completely loose track
        _()_
        Peter

        Comment

        • Hoyu
          Member
          • Nov 2010
          • 2020

          #5
          Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

          Hi Choco,

          I say take Jundo's advice and speak from the heart. It is clear that you are very passionate about the three treasures and have a dedicated practice. In other words you already have it all to make a wonderful presentation! Now you just have to get past the mental roadblock. Just remember, the same mind that put it up can also take it down!
          Good luck with everything and keep us posted

          Gassho,
          John
          Ho (Dharma)
          Yu (Hot Water)

          Comment

          • Rev R
            Member
            • Jul 2007
            • 457

            #6
            Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

            Ask to borrow Jundo's Zen Robot mask. That should break the ice.

            But seriously...
            To become an echo, be yourself, speak from the heart, put together some cards with points you really want to address. I would add, tell a story about yourself and the topic of minimalism.

            Otherwise just breathe.

            Rod

            Comment

            • Nenka
              Member
              • Aug 2010
              • 1238

              #7
              Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

              Originally posted by chocobuda
              Speaking 15 + people will be odd!
              Ohhhh yes. I feel that. I had to talk to four groups of people last week about a historic home which I knew only a little bit about, and it was totally scary. But I think preparing ahead a bit works. Practice out what you're going to say. Say it to yourself if you have to.

              Anyway, it's clear you know what you're doing, and the anxiety probably will melt away when the time comes.

              Good luck!

              Jen

              Comment

              • Nindo

                #8
                Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                Are these people new to Buddhism or have they sat zazen before?
                If they are complete newbies, keep it very simple. I have done introductory talks in which I just told the life story of the Buddha, the four noble truths, the eightfold path and why sitting is important as a practice. That's usually enough to get some questions and take it from there.
                Good luck, you'll be fine! :wink:

                Comment

                • Kaishin
                  Member
                  • Dec 2010
                  • 2322

                  #9
                  Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                  I am terrible in those situations, so I have no advice. But I wish you the best of luck!!!
                  Thanks,
                  Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                  Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39459

                    #10
                    Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                    Originally posted by Rev R
                    Ask to borrow Jundo's Zen Robot mask. That should break the ice.
                    Ah, 'Buddha-bot' has not been around for a couple of years. I promise to bring him back soon. 8)

                    Thanks for that, Rev.

                    Gassho, J
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Dosho
                      Member
                      • Jun 2008
                      • 5784

                      #11
                      Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                      Morelos,

                      I think pretty much everything I would say has been said, but I did want to offer support to your endeavour. Jundo said to speak from your heart and I feel quite sure that if you approach the talk from the truth of your own experiences of zazen then you will do great.

                      Gassho,
                      Dosho

                      Comment

                      • Kyonin
                        Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                        • Oct 2010
                        • 6742

                        #12
                        Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                        Thank you very much, friends.

                        Yes I will speak from the heart.

                        It will be a group that wants to find out what Buddhism and zazen are, so I will write a guideline of what I will say. I am not that nervous anymore, so I should be okay. :P

                        Thanks all! I will keep you posted. :wink:
                        Hondō Kyōnin
                        奔道 協忍

                        Comment

                        • Risho
                          Member
                          • May 2010
                          • 3179

                          #13
                          Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                          The first thing you should do is break the ice by saying "Do you think it's easy looking this good? Pay up!". Lol. Kidding of course

                          Seriously to echo everyone if you speak frpm your heart like you do here they are in for a treat . Good luck
                          Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

                          Comment

                          • ChrisA
                            Member
                            • Jun 2011
                            • 312

                            #14
                            Re: I will lead a local zazen sesison. Help!

                            Every once in a while, I have to teach ethnographic observation or authentic classroom assessment, both of which seem very easy until you do them. So I often start with a simple assignment, something like, go to a shopping center and just sit for five minutes, taking notes on what you notice. Students hear the assignment and think, "This'll be easy!" Students come back overwhelmed by the complexity of this "simple" task.

                            I think that's a good way to approach sitting shikantaza. Just being yourself, you'll do a great job, I'm sure, of explaining "just sitting." But when your group actually attempts to "just sit," well... you'll have plenty of ways to talk about zen, zazen, and a whole lot more.

                            So, to repeat the above: just be, then let them try to just sit, then just be with them after they've just sat!
                            Chris Seishi Amirault
                            (ZenPedestrian)

                            Comment

                            • Heisoku
                              Member
                              • Jun 2010
                              • 1338

                              #15
                              Re: I will lead a local zazen session. Help!

                              Good luck Morelos...8888888888888888888888888888888888888888 8.....Just sit!
                              Heisoku 平 息
                              Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

                              Comment

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