beginning again and again



Intro to Zen


At it’s heart Zen is learning to cultivate moment to moment awareness. It brings together both an approach to life and a series of practices. It is best developed in a community of other Zen students with the advice and support of an experienced Zen teacher – that is what Zen Open Circle is about. We offer two ways for new members or interested seekers to learn more about our approach: our Beginning Zen courses, held several times a year, and this series of introductory pages. Or come along to one of our regular events – new comers are always very welcome.


Beginning Zen Online

What is Zen?

“Zen is dedicated not to clearing up the mystery, but to making the mystery clear.” – Robert Aitken Roshi

Zen Ritual & Forms

“There’s a long, long tradition in each Zen ritual. In the rituals, time becomes thicker.” – Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Guide to Zen Meditation

“Zen meditation is done not by directing yourself towards something special but by subtly abandoning anything that resists the simplicity of just being, just sitting, just breathing.” – Roshi Susan Murphy

Koan Inquiry

“Koan work is a game that does not involve so much moves of the mind as radical removes of the mind. It involves taking away elements we’ve grown to rely on.” – Roshi Susan Murphy

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