Queensland Zen Centre (Dae Kwang Sa)

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Queensland Zen Centre (Dae Kwang Sa)

Queensland Zen Centre (Dae Kwang Sa)

Information
Tradition/Linage Zen, Korean
Main School Mahayana
Founded 1989
People
Founder(s) Zen Master Seung Sahn
Teacher(s) Zen Master Sen Shin
Contact Infotmation
Address 33 Ervatamia Street
Runcorn
Queensland 4113
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (07) 3345 3286
Website http://www.queenslandzencentre.com/
Email qzcinfo@gmail.com



Founded in 1989 by the late Zen Master Seung Sahn, internationally renowned Grand Master of the Kwan Um School of Zen, the Queensland Zen Centre (QZC) is a Brisbane-based group of practitioners dedicated to the practice of awakening.

Since 1996 our Guiding Teacher, Zen Master Senshin, has overseen all aspects of our group’s training including the teaching of the meditation practices of sitting, walking, chanting, and kong-an study. In addition to weekly practice sessions, which offer an introduction for new students as well as practice opportunities for regular students, Zen Master Senshin leads monthly one-day retreats. During retreats, Zen Master Senshin offers dharma talks and individual interviews for those wishing to deepen in their understanding. Please see our schedule page for practice session and retreat details.

The QZC is a non-profit religious organisation, which relies on the generosity of members and friends for support. Regular practitioners are encouraged to consider making a contribution towards costs and/or membership as an active way of supporting, while being supported by, the QZC.

On Practice, by Zen Master Senshin

QZC offers formal training that includes weekly group meditation sessions; retreats varying in length from one day to one week; and introductory workshops for new students. During practice sessions, students are taught techniques of Zen meditation to enliven our original mindexperiences accessible to all people and yet individually lived. These techniques, such as sitting, walking and chanting meditation are vehicles through which Zen students apply themselves on their spiritual path. Similar to any practice, be it sport, music, or dance, Zen is an immediate experience – simultaneously illuminating, while being illuminated by all phenomena. In Zen training, students learn the rudiments of meditation through a process of inquiry (kong-ans) and by bringing awareness into the breath, into the body to go through and beyond the noisy, non-stop chatter of extraneous thought. Rather than a respite from feelings of confusion, anxiety and sadness, following the breath provides an opportunity to investigate our experiences and while not holding on to them, allowing them full expression. This natural pathway is a means of deepening in our awareness of the source from which they come – who is it that is thinking these thoughts; feeling these feelings? To experience sadness fully, or to sit in meditation wholeheartedly, thoughts and feelings spontaneously transform as our life energy is released. Each student has his/her own motivation for studying Zen, however, one’s quest arises from a deep need to know the truth and a willingness, regardless of one’s circumstances, to be guided by it. Through what may be described as a progression of direct experiences, students continue training in a life-long journey to understand themselves in relation to, and for all beings. In each and every breath, students at QZC are encouraged to return to the activity at hand – be it brushing the teeth or sitting with a kong-an – giving one’s self to it completely.

Sitting a Retreat by Zen Master Senshin

Monthly retreats are central to training at the Queensland Zen Centre. Retreats encourage students to put aside egoistic distractions, and focus on the immediate, through vital questions such as, “Who am I”? The need to know who we are inspires many people to embrace spiritual practice and to delve into life-changing questions. While sitting a retreat can be challenging, students have the assurance of our ancient tradition, the fellowship of other students who share similar difficulties and joys, and a teacher to guide us through the journey.

A retreat is not an escape but rather an opportunity to deepen into the fundamental practices of sitting, walking, and chanting meditation. Additionally, retreats provide a supportive environment for students to bring to awareness a process of inquiry by learning how to work with a question or kong-an. Without the distractions of daily life, there is often a recognition of just how much time is spent caught up in following extraneous thought. As students learn to focus their energy on the breath and on a kong-an, sitting a retreat can enable students to strengthen an understanding of zen, as well as clarify an experience of what it might mean to just sit, on a hot summer's day, and listen to a kookaburra's warble.

Retreats give students a rare chance to let go of unnecessary conceptual activity and concentrate on the here and now. In each step that we take, each breath we breathe, and in each retreat we complete, our natural capacity to function with and for all beings, is enlivened and renewed.

Interviews

Those who attend practice regularly are welcome to request an individual practice interview with Zen Master Senshin. Interviews are an opportunity to ask questions and to receive specific instruction regarding one’s practice. The purpose in attending interviews is to clarify one’s understanding of Zen – to close the gap between one’s ideas, and actual experiences. Integral to each QZC retreat, interviews can also be arranged at other times for those who are unable to attend retreats.

Zen Master Senshin

File:Zen Master Senshin.jpg
Zen Master Senshin

Zen Master Senshin is the guiding teacher of the Queensland Zen Centre. Her training began in 1978 in NYC when she became the student of the renowned Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn. She first visited Australia in 1995, at which time she was an ordained nun in the Kwan Um School of Zen and Abbot of the Furnace Mountain Zen Centre in Kentucky, USA.

Having received Inka (permission to teach) from Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1996, she was invited to Brisbane and begin her life here as our resident Guiding Teacher. After the death of her teacher Zen Master Seung Sahn in 2004, and in keeping with his teaching, Zen Master Senshin guided the QZC through the process of establishing itself as an independent Zen training centre. In 2006, after continuing her own practice both here in Australia and in Japan, she received Transmission as a Zen Master in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn from Zen Master Dae Gak.

From 1999 to 2009, Zen Master Senshin continued to deepen in her training by attending intensive training periods in the Rinzai tradition under the guidance of Shodo Harada Roshi, Abbot of Sogen-ji Temple in Okayama, Japan and Tahoma Monastery in Seattle, USA. From 1996-2006, she worked as a Pastoral Counsellor in Palliative Care in Brisbane, where - drawing on her spiritual realisation - she helped enable those in her care to discover their own spiritual resources as they were dying, or grieving for someone they loved. Zen Master Senshin has also provided spiritual education and counselling to refugees and asylum seekers.

Zen Master Senshin oversees all aspects of the traditional zen training provided at the QZC, including: weekly Dharma talks, monthly retreats, and kong-an interviews (a traditional process of inquiry). She emphasises a return to fundamentals and awakening to the mind that is essential. Zen Master Senshin provides comprehensive training ranging from the introduction of breathing and awareness practices for beginning students, to intensive kong-an practices for advanced members, as they mature and ripen in their capacity to teach others.

Zen Master Senshin is the author of Essence of Mind, a book containing a selection of her Dharma Talks given during first years of her Brisbane residency.

Source

Queensland Zen Centre (Dae Kwang Sa)