The Melbourne Zen Group is based in Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia. Our weekly meditation meetings are open to both members and non-members.
Calendar of Upcoming Events and Retreats
Our current Dharma sharing topic is the Xin Xin Ming.
25 March Sangha Forum – Relationships with Teachers
Our next Sangha forum, on 25 March, is on the theme of relationships with teachers.
With Kirk’s Dharma transmission ceremony taking place in April, now is a good time to reflect on the role of teachers in our group, and on teacher-student relationships more broadly.
This a forum for clarifying understanding. It is not a decision making forum.
What questions to you have about group and individual relationships with teachers?
The forum will be hybrid – both at CERES and online in the Saturday Zendo
10am to 11am – Saturday sit
11am to 1pm – forum
1pm – shared bring-a-plate lunch
To touch, to settle,
and to convey the heart-mind
Melbourne Zen Group residential sesshin
21 to 26 April 2023
Kallara, near Euroa
Susan Murphy Roshi
Kirk Fisher Sensei
Autumn Sesshin this year is unusual: it precedes and paves the way to the rare and significant ceremony of Dharma Transmission which will fully authorise Kirk Fisher as a teacher, marking an important development in the evolving shape and capacity of the sangha.
Sesshin guidelines always begin by reminding us all that ‘sesshin’ literally means ‘to touch, to settle and to convey the heart-mind – the English rendering of the Sino-Japanese ‘shin’. Shin, we might say, is the fully human heart of the great, grave matter that we seek to realise and know for ourselves in sesshin and let it wake up our lives in the world. For the broader quest of enlightenment goes far beyond this small self. This not-two word ‘heart-mind’ insists that these two familiar but potent words of everyday speech – ‘heart’, and ’mind’ – cannot be separated, but clarify and awaken each other into completeness. This completeness of heart and mind becomes our constant point of inquiry – the matter to be resolved not as an idea but as what we are, and what we do.
Yet the meaning inside the word ‘sesshin’ points not only to the deep process at the heart of every Zen student taking part in a retreat, but also to what lies at the heart of the responsibility accepted by a Zen teacher… which is to touch, settle and convey to others the Dharma that embodies the heart-mind, to help others awaken into it, and to bring it to light as your whole life in the world. Every genuine Zen teacher firmly remains a student of the Way; we all walk this path of transformation together; in the end there is nothing and no-one to separate out; and thus transmission of the Dharma is unceasing.
Just open your eyes, listen with your heart, and soften this very self into the seamless quality of all that is, and you will begin to see into Bodhidharma’s words when he said that “Zen is a special transmission beyond words and letters”. Awake reality lies beyond tradition, beyond all ideas, is direct and timeless, and not even an inch off from just where and what you are. Please come and realise this for yourself. And then witness it confirmed in the ceremony that will follow, for Kirk.
Read Susan’s letter to the Sangha about Kirk’s Dharma Transmission
This sesshin is fully booked, and a waitlist applies for places.
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