- SEE & DO
- ZEN MEDITATION (ZAZEN) EXPERIENCE
¥1000 first visit, ¥500 from 2nd visit
- 3 Chome-8-5 Zenpukuji, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 23 minutes on foot from Nishi-Ogikubo Station, North Exit (or take a bus to Zenpukuji Park)
- 090-5827-7004 (Japanese only)
- Saturdays 8:00am - 9:30am (closes irregularly)
- https://ningenzen.org/free/ogikubo (external link)
- Meditiation is led in Japanese, but English assistance is available if requested.
ZEN MEDITATION (ZAZEN) EXPERIENCE
[published March 2021]
Zen at Zenpukuji
Zazen Meditation Experience at Seimeian
■Content: Learn basic zen meditation, and practice in 2 sessions. Communication time over tea follows.
■Materials: You do not need to bring anything, and zabuton cushions are provided for you to sit on. Casual clothes are OK, but please do not wear anything tight. Loose-fitting clothes will be easier for you to sit in full or half-lotus position for a long period of time. Also please note that you will be required to remove your shoes, so please wear socks.
■Location: Seimeian at Zenpukuji Park in Nishi-Ogikubo (see address above or map below)
■Schedule: Every Saturday morning 8:00am – 9:30am.
Please note that occasionally due to the sensei’s circumstance the lesson may not run. Saturdays when the sessions are not running will be posted on Seimeian website (external link). It’s all in Japanese, but under “⑥ 土曜日朝 8:00am – 9:30am” you’ll find any days off listed next to the star (★) icon (for example, “3月24日” means March 24).
Each session usually includes two periods of meditation. The first is 20 minutes followed by a 5 minute break to stretch and ask questions, and the second is a bit longer, 25-30 minutes. The teacher will signify when to start and break from meditating. Meditation is usually followed by light refreshments (green or herbal tea and a snack) over which members can enjoy conversation and discussing zazen.
■Workshop Time: 1.5 hours
■Number of Participants: 15 people maximum
■Cost: 1,000 yen per person for first visit, 500 yen on subsequent visits
■Instructor: Nakagawa-sensei (Kousui Nakagawa), teaching zazen for 5 years (as of 2022) and studying under Zazen master Hokoan for 7 years.
■Sign up/schedule/inquiry: Please contact via email (email@example.com)
Description: Zazen is a form of seated meditation which is a discipline from the traditions and practices of Zen Buddhism. Zen meditation has roots in India, from where it spread to China, and finally into Japan in the 13th century. “Zazen” or “Zen” Meditation is the Japanese term for the Buddhist practice, which has had a profound influence on Japanese culture.
At Seimeian in front of Zenpukuji Park in Nishi-Ogikubo, you will feel the tranquility of nature that surrounds you and peeks in the windows of a traditional Japanese house. You will sit on zabuton cushions on tatami straw mats as you learn to “think about not thinking” and bring your mind to peace. Before meditating, Nakagawa-sensei will explain the zazen method in terms of how to breathe and the correct posture and sitting position. A senior student will get up toward the end of the session and in the tradition of Buddhist monks in training, gently whack a bamboo plank on the upper back of meditators who need to correct their posture (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt and it’s part of the experience!)– though if it is your first time they may just help adjust your posture.
For anyone interested in Zen, this is a great opportunity to try it without worry or inhibition. It is also a great opportunity not just for relaxation and meditation but also to experience Japanese culture, as you can visit a traditional Japanese house, and you can further enter peace amid Tokyo by visiting Zenpukuji Park afterward, right outside the front door!
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