White Wind Zen Community

A Community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985

Introduction to Zen Workshop (Ottawa)

Upcoming Workshops

Saturday, August 3rd, 2024

Saturday, September 7th, 2024

Saturday, November 2nd, 2024

Saturday, December 14th, 2024

Time and Location

The workshop begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at about 4:00 p.m followed by an informal discussion. Please arrive by 1:45 p.m. for orientation. Dainen-ji, Zen Centre of Ottawa, is located at 240 Daly Avenue (on the corner of Daly Avenue and Friel Street) in Ottawa's Sandy Hill District. 

Workshop Purpose

The workshops are designed to give people a formal introduction to Zen practice, the basis of which is "sitting", or "zazen". Instruction in posture (including how to sit on a zafu or cushion, a seiza bench or a chair) and basic elements of mindfulness practice is provided. There is also some explanation of why zazen is not merely meditation or contemplation or the cultivation of particular states. During the workshop, we spend a portion of the time actually doing the practice and so by the end of the workshop people have enough information to begin to establish a practice at home, which is essential if it is to be effective.

Further Instruction

Following the workshop those who wish to continue can make arrangements to meet privately with a practice advisor to discuss their practice and ask any questions they may have. This would be the beginning of a series of meetings for the purpose of clarifying the student's practice to prepare them to apply for the first level of enrolment, that of an associate student. Those who are accepted as associate students may attend weekly sittings at the monastery.

A Note About Enrolment

Dainen-ji is a monastery and so we have an intensive schedule of practice throughout the year. In addition to monastic training, we provide training to a large number of lay students, some of whom live in the Ottawa area, and other across Canada and around the world. In order to make the Teachings available to as large a number of people as possible we have a structure of enrolment which corresponds to the time constraints and needs of students.

Appropriate Clothing

N95 or KN95 masks must be worn by all participants during the workshop.

When you arrive you will be met at the door and asked to remove your shoes and socks. Participants are asked to remove and store unnecessary jewelry, with the exception of perhaps a ring which cannot be removed. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, preferably in muted or dark colours, free of patterns or distracting logos, that will allow you to sit comfortably on the floor. The fabric of blue jeans is too thick and will bunch behind the knee, cutting off the circulation, as will belts. Yoga pants, leggings, shorts, tank tops, and track suits are too casual for the formal environment of the monastery. Please do not wear "special clothing", such as martial arts outfits.

Please do not wear perfume or scented products.

To Register

Seating is limited and registration is required. There is a suggested contribution of $40 to register for the workshop.

To confirm your seat, please click on the Eventbrite "Register Now" button below: 

Or you can mail a cheque or money order (made payable to "White Wind Zen Community") to: White Wind Zen Community, 240 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6G2. Or if you are in the neighbourhood, you can leave the cheque in a sealed envelope in the mailbox at the front door of the monastery, including your name, address, and the date of the workshop you will be attending.

If for some reason you are unable to attend the workshop, please let us know this in advance by sending an email or by calling the Zen Centre office to leave a message on the answering machine at 613-562-1568. If your contribution has already been received, it will be applied to a workshop you can attend at a later date.

For more information concerning the workshop, please send an email;or telephone the Zen Centre office 613-562-1568. For those living outside of commuting distance of the monastery, instruction in Zen practice is available through our Long-distance Training program

Please note that workshop participants must be 16 years of age or over.; Those who are 16-18 years old must have parental permission to participate in the workshop.

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