In IZI centers and groups so called ekayana Zen is practised, based on the teachings of Buddhism.
Insight into the nature of the self and its manifestation in everyday life forms the center of this
kind of practice. Considering Zen we like to quote Prabhasa Dharma, Zenji: "Zen means to realize that
you are constantly one in that which has not yet become a thought or concept."
Zen can be practised in different ways. It can be mainly aimed at physical and mental health
without giving insight into the essence of existence and the nature of the self.
Other forms of Zen practice take instead of Buddhism other philosophies or forms of religion
as a frame of reference.
We practise Zen in such a way that intuitive wisdom and compassion, so called prajna and karuna,
can develop hand in hand. We aim at making Zen practice as accessible as possible; at the same time
we keep up many forms and Zen rituals of the Zen Buddhist tradition. Besides that, in many of
the outer forms our Japanese-Vietnamese background shines through.
The International Zen Institute offers a variety of Zen practice programs for both beginning
and advanced practitioners. We practice in different countries, cultures and with the guidance
of different teachers and meditation leaders. To give you an idea of our practice,
we will describe the program of our main center, the International Zen Center Noorder Poort.
Training periods offer a unique opportunity for intensive Zen practice.
Of course, it is possible to participate in just a part of a period.
Yet, Jiun, Roshi strongly recommends to sometimes practice a longer period of time intensively.
Sesshin are the traditional Zen retreats during which we meditate intensively in strict silence.
Zazen (sitting meditation) and kinhin (walking meditation) are the basic practices.
Jiun Hogen Roshi gives a teisho or Dharma talk. In all sesshin individual guidance is
offered for the meditation practice and specifically for koan practice. Meditation
with a koan is a typical practice of the Linchi (Rinzai) Zen school. Jiun Hogen Roshi
is a Zen master in the Linchi tradition and is authorized to guide koan practice.
Below you will find links to examples of the different sesshin schedules.
In the 5-days' go-sesshin (go = five) we practice several breathing meditations
and we learn to deal with thoughts, feelings, emotions and pain. In order to
meditate with koans we learn to develop energy (ki) and to direct our attention
at one point. An alert and clear mind enables us to be in the here and now and
to perceive the things as they are.
Schedule of a go-sesshin.
In the 7 days' dai-sesshin (dai = great) the daily practice schedule is totally
directed at koan meditation and the realization of our True Self. All practices,
recitations, rituals come together in this sesshin; everything is used to develop
an alert and fully conscious mind. The meals are served in oryoki style with
Japanese eating bowls.
Schedule of a dai-sesshin.
The kokoro-sesshin (kokoro = heart) is meant for experienced zen practitioners
who, for whatever reason, prefer to participate in a less structured and yet
full-fledged sesshin. The breaks are longer than in a regular sesshin and there
are more possibilities for a personal filling-in. Previous participation in a
dai-sesshin or go-sesshin is a prerequisite to participate in a kokoro-sesshin.
Schedule of a kokoro-sesshin.
The Rohatsu-sesshin is a very intensive dai-sesshin and is offered to experienced
practitioners around december 8, Buddha's enlightenment day.
Schedule of rohatsu.
New Years sesshin
A sesshin that is centered around 'leaving no traces'. We enter the new year in
zazen with 108 gongstrokes.
Daily life sesshin
These sesshin are an important element of the training periods. Only the work
period in the afternoon is not in silence. In the early morning,
in the afternoon and in the evening there are meditation periods. Private interviews
with the teacher about the zen practice are part of the program.
Schedule of a daily life sesshin.
Family Zen Retreat
This is a Zen program for the whole family, parents as well as children.
Drawing from many years of experience as a Zen teacher, mother, mediator and
educator, Jishin Osho guides these days. We practice, work, play and talk
around a Zen-Buddhist theme.
A Zen weekend offers a good opportunity to become silent and deepen our meditation.
We practice mindfully together in silence in order to see what is right now.
The teacher gives a Dharma talk and private interviews.
Schedule of zen weekend.
A weekend for those who are new to Zen and for those who want to intensify their
practice in surroundings inviting silence and awareness. Most of the weekend
we practice in silence, but at both days a dharma talk is given and there is ample
opportunity for questions and answers.
Starts at 18:00 on Friday and ends at 16:00 on Sunday.
In this weekend the teacher will help the participants to investigate some subject
related to zen practice. Participants will receive a text beforehand. The emphasis, however,
is not on academic study of the text but on the living experience of the participants.
Starts at 18:00 on Friday and ends at 16:00 on Sunday.
Three days of meditation in action in the beautiful nature around Noorder Poort. In
the morning and evening, we practice in the zendo. During the day, we practice
while walking. The walks are in silence and are not demanding
(but please bring rain gear and watertight walking shoes).
Starts at 18:00 on the first day and ends after lunch on the last.
Work Practice Days
During these days we meditate several times a day. During the day we work
on projects in and around the house and you may experience how meditation and
work are related to each other. At the same time this is a wonderful opportunity
to give your services to the center.
The weekly classes are meant to encourage meditation and deepen our practice.
Please, contact our office for the exact dates and cost.
Guest Resident Program
On days that there is no retreat it is possible to participate in the daily practice
and work at Noorder Poort, as a guest resident. This is a nice way to get to know the
center and its residents.
Those who want to start with Zen can contact our Zen center Noorder Poort or one
of our Zen teachers or groups.
The agenda of the Noorder Poort.
A survey of local zen groups.