Three Sesshin in Ireland 2016

Join Everyday Zen Experience for three sesshin at the Boghill Centre.

SITTING in a liminal space at the edge of the ancient Burren, an area of special conservation in the West of Ireland, the Boghill Centre is a place dedicated to practice of every kind.

The ancient landscape of the Burren has been an inspiration to spiritual practice for ages; it is a major inspiration in the mystical writings of John O'Donohue. Spirituality exudes from this now UNESCO Geo-park.

The Burren, where a landscape of rare rock formations and the temperate Atlantic climate make for a unique environment, is still largely unpopulated and unencroached by modern civilisation - the call of the deep mystery of pre-Christian Ireland lives on in this primordial land.

In a similar vein, Zen is a unique approach to the Buddha's Enlightenment and equanimity. Of the many approaches Buddhism has to offer, the sublime simplicity and aesthetic of Zen are a joy to behold. Like the Burren, its archetypal simplicity reaches the stillest waters of the heart.

These three sesshin will be led by Ingen, who left Ireland in the '90s to follow his spiritual yearnings for Zen practice. His journey took him to California where he spent fifteen years at San Francisco Zen Center's three temples, Beginner's Mind, Green Dragon, and Zen Mind, also known as City Centre, Green Gulch, and Tassajara.

Ingen received Dharma Transmission from former Abbott Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2009, in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of San Francisco Zen Center and author of the modern classic “Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind”. He returned to Ireland about five years ago and has since led sesshin and retreats in England, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and he returns to California to co-lead Zen and Yoga retreats at Tassajara and Green Gulch. As a teacher he is warm-hearted, friendly and approachable, as well as firmly committed to practice.

The Equinox sesshin was fully catered for by the Boghill Centre.

The Hallowe'en and Rohatsu sesshin will be self-catering at Ingen-ji, Co. Clare.

In the Equinox Sesshin we will renew ourselves in the practice of Zen as the wildness of the Burren awakens our hearts to the promise of Spring. Our days will include sitting and walking meditation, Dharma Talks exploring the ancient Wisdom of Zen, Zen chanting and ceremony, time for personal reflection and excellent vegetarian food prepared by the dedicated community of the Boghill Centre.

In the Halloween Sesshin our practice will deepen with the darkening days as we enter more fully the liminal space where worlds meet. Our ceremonial activities will focus on Sejiki, the Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts, as we take the backward step that turns the light inward to illuminate the self. An opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed away recently will be offered during the Sejiki ceremony.

The Hungry Ghosts, are they within us or without? How can we feed them, and how can feeding them bring peace to this lonely planet? What will satisfy the hunger of our hearts? These questions will be our food for thought as we continue our Zen practice.

Rohatsu is the great sesshin in the Zen calendar. Literally meaning December 8th, the day Zen celebrates the Buddha's Enlightenment, we will in this sesshin enter the depths of Winter and the depths of Zen, emerging with an increased appreciation of Buddha Mind. In the long cold nights of Winter the stary skies speak a silent language that goes quintessentially to the core of our practice: this is it.

The story goes that Shakyamuni Buddha sat up all night and upon seeing the mornng star realised enlightenment together with all beings. This sesshin is for the earnest practitioner.