Children and Young People

The Melbourne Zen Group is committed to providing an environment where the children and young people who have contact with us are safe, and also feel safe and able to actively participate in decisions that affect them.

This commitment is guided by our broader commitment to nurturing a safe and inclusive sangha, and by relevant child-safety legislation.

Incidents, behaviour or conditions that threaten the safety of children who have contact with the Melbourne Zen Group should be reported to our Committee for investigation and appropriate action.

Meditation Practice and Under 18s

Our primary practice – intensive meditation – is generally not suitable for very young children. We are however, open to exploring ways in which young children can participate in our social activities and in other aspects of our practice such as chanting and samu (mindful work practice).

Under-18s who are ready to explore zazen (seated meditation) are welcome to attend our orientations and group meditation meetings.

Please let us know when you first contact us if you are under-18, so that we can make make sure that we meet your needs appropriately. If you are under-15 we may ask that you attend our activities in the first instance with an adult family member or friend.

Working with Children Checks

  • Our group orientations are lead by volunteers who have a current Working With Children Check.
  • Dokusan (private and confidential meeting with a Zen Teacher about Zen practice) is offered at our Melbourne dojo twice a month by apprentice teachers who have a current Working With Children Check.

Dokusan and Under 18s

Dokusan traditionally involves zen students being alone and behind closed doors with a Zen Teacher. It is Melbourne Zen Group policy that under-18s only attend Dokusan when a second, trusted adult is present at the interview.

If you are under 18 and would like to attend Dokusan, please contact our Committee at least a week in advance so that we can make arrangements to ensure that a second adult, who you trust, is present during your Dokusan interview.

Teachers’ Ethics Agreement
Commitment to Safe and Inclusive Sangha