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Zen Study Series

Learn Teachings from a 2500-year-old Wisdom Tradition

The Zen Life & Meditation Center of Chicago offers this unique in-depth series on Zen with Zen Master, Robert Joshin Althouse. This series consists of 4 three-hour classes on Saturday afternoons (1-4pm). Please click here to see the recommended reading list.

1. History of Zen Buddhism (August 5, 2017)

This class will explore how Zen came into the world, from it's earliest beginnings in India to it's Golden Age in China. It is a rich history with many fascinating stories and crossings of religions and cultures. We'll study how this teaching changed as it moved from India to China and then to Japan. We'll appreciate the great journey Zen took coming from the East to the West. It's a fascinating and wonderful story that is still being told.

2. Tenets and Philosophy of Zen Buddhism (August 12, 2017)

This class will explore the early teachings of the Buddha such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the Five Skandhas and Dependent Co-origination. We'll study different schools and philosophies of Buddhism such as the Madyamika and Yogachara schools. We'll appreciate some important sutras such as the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra. We'll conclude by appreciating the depth of Dogen Zenj's Shobogenzo.

3. Precepts, Koans, and Liturgy (August 19, 2017)

This class will explore the importance of the precepts in the Zen training of our White Plum Lineage tradition. It will talk about koans, what they are, their history, and how they have been used in Zen training. The class will also cover some of our main liturgy such as the Heart Sutra, the Identity of Relative & Absolute, the Kanzeon Sutra and the Gate of Sweet Nectar. The class will conclude by giving an overview of the Ango training that has been passed down through our tradition.

4. Joshin Roshi's Zen Teachings (August 26, 2017)

Joshin Roshi has had a broad and deep spiritual training in both Zen and Vajrayana traditions. Joshin Roshi will talk about the three major schools of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and how they relate to each other.

He'll talk about Taizan Maezumi Roshi and how his teachings gave birth to our current White Plum Lineage tradition. He'll talk about Robert Aitken Roshi and Bernie Glassman Roshi's teachings. He'll speak of his teacher, Nicolee Jikyo McMahon Roshi's teachings including her Practice of Immediacy in the Arts® .

Roshi will talk about the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Shambhala tradition with a special emphasize on the Five Wisdom Energies and how we are currently using this model as a vision for governing all aspects of our Zen Center's operations and organization.

Roshi will speak about how important it is to ground Zen in Mindfulness Meditation and the importance of Interpersonal Neurobiology.

Finally, he'll talk about how the teachings of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication and Eugene Gendlin's Focusing and the Philosophy of the Implicit have broadened and deepened his own understanding of an Applied Zen for our times.

Cost: $200