The One-Year Big Mind Zen Program
This One-Year program is designed for people who feel that a year spent deepening their Zen practice would be valuable, enjoyable and timely for them — if they could fit it into their already busy lives.
At a time when we are realizing more deeply than ever the uncertainty of life and the importance of having a real practice, Big Mind Zen offers such a practice dedicated to and for Westerners who wish to go to the depths of Zen realization and actualization. It integrates traditional Zen training, including elements of Soto and Rinzai Zen as well as Vajrayana and the Big Mind process, with a greater appreciation of our own life and the impermanence of all things.
The Program began with a 3-Day Intensive Zoom Video Conference September 10-12, 2021, 11:00 am Mountain Time with Roshi teaching three hours each day. It includes two more 3-Day workshops on Zoom (December 3-5, March 4-6), a 7-Day sesshin (May 28 – June 3) open to participation either in person in Salt Lake City or on Zoom, and a monthly Sunday talk on Zoom, as well as occasional 90-minute small breakout groups with Roshi, dates to be announced later.
Weekly Zoom meetings led by one of the four Kanzeon teachers will be supplementing Roshi’s teaching and offering opportunities for further interaction and personal contact for those who wish it. These meetings will be held Tuesdays 11:00 am Mountain Time (= 6:00 pm WET [Ireland, Portugal, UK]; 7:00 pm CET [Central Europe]; 8:00 pm EET [Eastern Europe]), and Wednesdays 7:00 pm Mountain Time (for North and South America and insomniacs in Europe). Program participants may attend either, both, or neither of these weekly meetings. Zoom links for these events will be sent to all Program participants.
Additionally, Genpo Roshi and the Kanzeon teachers will be available for individual Zoom meetings upon request via email to their addresses below.
As an adjunct to the One-Year Program, you are also invited to work one-on-one with Charlotte Jigen Juul, a psychotherapist and Zen priest, on personal issues which may be hindering or blocking your practice. Information about Charlotte’s particular areas of expertise and interest, her professional background, services and fees can be found here.
Recognizing that participants will have other commitments and obligations, Roshi is offering all the year’s events on zoom, and recommends sitting on your own 20 to 30 minutes daily, or as much as your schedule permits, and participating in as many of the events and opportunities offered over the course of the year as you can.
These are recommendations, not requirements; Roshi does not want schedule conflicts or other responsibilities to prevent people from participating in the program.
Topics to be covered with Roshi will include:
Eight Facets of Faith in Buddhism:
Misconception of the “self” (ego or “I”)
Eternal Life / Unborn / Undying
Karma / Law of Causation
Existence of All Buddhas
Mutual Attraction between Buddhas and Sentient Beings
Not Two but One
Road to Buddhahood
Theory and Practice of Zazen:
Five Varieties of Zen
Three Aims of Zen
Individual Instruction (Dokusan / Daisan)
Shikantaza (Just Sitting)
Cause and Effect Are One
The Three Essentials of Zen Practice
Koans and how to realize, actualize and express them in a simple and yet profound way.
Eight Beliefs in Buddhism by Hakuun Yasutani Roshi https://bigmind.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Yasutani-Eight-Beliefs-in-Buddhism.pdf
The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau — Chapters 1, 4, 6, and 8. https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/KapleauPillars.pdf
Schedule of weekly meetings with Senseis
for participants in the One-Year Big Mind Zen Program
Program participants may attend either, both, or neither of these weekly meetings. Zoom links for these events will be sent to all Program participants.
E-mail addresses to contact Genpo Roshi and Teachers to request individual meetings:
Genpo Merzel Roshi
Mark Daitoku Esterman Sensei
Mary Ellen Seien Sloan Sensei
Chris Jikishin von Wolkahof Sensei
Lynn Shozen Holbrook Sensei (not currently available for individual meetings)
Adjunct individual counseling on personal issues related to practice (fee- based)
Charlotte Jigen Juul
General Public: $2500
Big Mind Members: $2125. Big Mind Members receive a 15% Discount on events and many other benefits including the weekly Zoom sessions led by one of the four Kanzeon teachers supplementing Roshi’s teaching and offering opportunities for further interaction and personal contact for those who wish it.
Active Students: $2000. Active Student Members receive a 20% Discount on events and many other benefits including personal guidance from Roshi and invitations to special Active Student classes and events.