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Intensive Zen Practice

Intensive Zen Practice Retreats are hold every month at International Zen-Temple gem. e. V.
Please refer to our
calendar of events for the exact dates.

Participation requires personal allowance from Ven. Zen master Y. S. Seong Do.

The Intensive Zen Practice

The 3 or 10 day intensive Zen practice offers the opportunity to practice Zen in the traditional way in which it has been practiced and developed by Chinese and Korean Zen masters for hundreds of years.

Far away from the distractions of their daily lives the participants learn to practice with a Gong-An (Jap.: Koan). The persistent effort and deep concentration that is enabled during the 3 or 10 day intensive practice allows the Gong-An method to unfold its powerful effect.

Participants will be supported by the strong presence of Ven. Zen Master Young San Seong Do, through his guidance and assistance. Central to his guidance are dharma speeches about the Buddha Dharma, precise instructions on meditation, as well as personal talks (Gong-An interviews) with each participant. All of these aim to teach practitioners how they can correctly practice with the Gong-An.

Buddha said: "All sufferings originate within ourselves, within our mind."

To escape from suffering, we have to see our mind. Only then, we can control it and thereby cut off the origin of our suffering. Zen practice is a way to see our mind.

Korean Zen (Seon) practice uses Koans (Gong-Ans) as a means to see one´s mind.
Koans denote a doubtful question that points back to the asking person itself: "Who am I?"
By capturing our mind from moment to moment into this question, we can cut off all worldly thoughts and see our true nature.

Concentration on the Koan question is supported in a very special way at the Intensive Zen Retreats in the International Zen-Temple. This is due to the kind guidance of the Ven. Zen master as well as the silence during the entire period of practice. The calm, clear and powerful atmosphere makes it possible to get rid of all worldly thoughts.

Participation in the Intensive Zen Retreat is a first and important step on our way towards our true nature. Yet, we recommend that persons who have had no experience with Zen practice so far should first take part for a considerable period of time in our weekly Zen practice on Tuesday evenings.

Anyone who wishes to practice Zen should not think of it easily. Zen is not a one time pastime for three days but should be practiced continously.

All practitioners are requested to practice Zen everyday at home for at least 50 minutes at a time. Only with such a sincere and earnest attitude and preparation is it possible to successfully participate in the 3 or 10 day Intensive Zen Retreats of International Zen-Temple gem. e. V.

Worship to Buddha Baru Ritual Sitting Meditation Walking Meditation

Daily Routine

During the 3 or 10 day Intensive Zen Practice, the day begins at 4 am, with the hitting of the Mok Tak. From 4:30 onwards the morning chantings and the worship to Buddha are celebrated. Afterwards, the well-structured daily routines unfold. They include periods of sitting meditation for 40 minutes, interrupted by walking meditations for 10 minutes.

Embedded in the daily routine are three ritual meals. They are followed by a little break with coffee and tea. Practitioners are free to continue with their sitting Zen practice during the breaks. At 11 am one hour of working meditation takes place. During this time we clean the temple or work in the garden of the temple.

After the midday break the Ven. Zen Master is giving a dharma speech. The dharma speech is followed by the ritual of the 108 prostrations and sitting meditation. The prostrations stand for the overcoming of the 108 kinds of suffering, as listed in the Buddhist Canon.

At 5 pm the Worship to Buddha is celebrated. The last meditation session starts at 8 pm. Night rest begins at 10 pm.

During the entire period of the Intensive Zen Practice silence is strictly kept.

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