Come to an Athens Zen Group Training Session. These sessions are offered Sundays at 11:00 am (except the first Sunday of each month). The session will last approximately one hour.
In this orientation you will learn the basics about zazen (posture, breathing, attention) as well as the protocol used in our services.
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. Garments should be of a subdued color and without excessive writing, and shirts should cover the upper arms.
There is no fee for this orientation, however, donations are gladly accepted.
In Zen we promote a balanced approach, emphasizing sitting over reading and talking, owing to our cultural bias toward intellectual, rather than direct, understanding. But we do recommend studying the dharma (the teachings), as long as it does not get in the way. That being said, newcomers often request the titles of some books which might be appropriate in introducing them to Zen practice
For the beginner the one book on Zen meditation I would unreservedly recommend is Meditation: Now or Never by Steve Hagen (HarperOne, paperback $14.95)
There are so many other introductory books appropriate for beginners; what follows is a very subjective list in no particular order:
- Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck
- Nothing Special by Charlotte Joko Beck
- Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen
- Buddhism is Not What You Think by Steve Hagen
- The Key and the Name of the Key is Willingness by Cheri Huber
- That Which You are Seeking is Causing You to Seek by Cheri Huber
- The Perils and Pitfalls of Practice by Cheri Huber
- The Beginners Guide to Zen Buddhism by Jean Smith
- Taking the Path of Zen by Robert Aitken
- An Invitation to Practice Zen by Albert Low
- Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
- Opening the Hand of Thought by Kosho Uchiyama
- Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki