Sun Mountain Zen Community

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Sun Mountain Zen Community

Sun Mountain Zen Community

Tradition/Linage Zen, Sanbo Kyodan
Main School Mahayana
Founded 2003
Founder(s) Dr. Rev. Mervyn Lander and Dr. Rev Cecilie Lander
Teacher(s) Dr. Rev. Mervyn Lander and Dr. Rev Cecilie Lander
Contact Infotmation
Address 554 Vulture Street
East Brisbane
Queensland 4169
Country Australia
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Phone (07) 3831 4209
Mobile 0408 788 882

Brisbane based Sun Mountain Zen offers weekly meditation practice in East Brisbane, Samford and Kenilworth on the Sunshine Coast. We also provide a comprehensive introductory program for beginners and monthly meditation retreats. Sun Mountain Zen is an intentional community of Zen practitioners guided by authorised Zen teachers Mervyn Lander Gôun-Ken, Cecilie Lander Gôen-An, Sue Wolter and Arno Hess Shûun-Ken. Our practice combines elements of both Rinzai and Soto Zen traditions and as such includes zazen, mindfulness and koan training. Sun Mountain Zen is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to provide authentic Zen training to all who are interested. Zen mediation is a non-religious contemplative practice and everyone is welcome irrespecive of whether they have a specific religious affiliation or none.

What is Zen?

This description of Zen was written around the 6th century CE and is still valid today. Zen has survived throughout the centuries transcending cultures, languages, beliefs and religions. Zen points beyond our rational belief system to the experience of reality itself.

Zen practice invites participants to awaken to the reality of one’s true nature directly. This experience, called Kensho, cannot be conceptualised. Experiencing Kensho and personalising the experience in our day-to-day life is the aim of Zen.

Zen Practice

Zen meditation practice leads towards an unconditional awareness free of internal commentary, judgements, concepts and self created boundaries.


There are three meditation practices:

  1. Awareness meditation through focusing on our breath.
  2. Awareness meditation through focusing on the Koan Mu.
  3. Shikantaza, (just sitting) an open awareness meditation focusing on what arises in the mind and the subsequent letting go of what has arisen.


Kinhin is a mindfulness excercise that takes Zen from the cushion into our everyday world. It is a walking meditation that combines mindfulness practice and awareness.


Dokusan is a confidential face to face meeting between a student and a teacher. Anyone who is not in a formal student-teacher relationship is welcome to discuss their practice with a teacher. (Note that not all teachers teach in all locations.) If a practitioner has determined to become a student of Zen, usually after having completed the introduction to Zen lectures and after having established a regular meditation practice, a formal request can be made to become a Zen student of a particular teacher. The process is quite simple, students approach the teacher they want to work with and ask the teacher to become a student. Once the teacher accepts the student, a practice path is then developed to suit the aspirations of the student. The student then works only with his or her teacher exclusively. A student can terminate the relationship at any time by simply discussing the matter as appropriate.

Koan practice

Koan practice clarifies self realization, freeing the many layers of acquired conditioning. Koans are usually phrases or dialogues between masters and students that were collected in ancient China and have survived until now. Koans cannot be intellectually grasped but only “understood” through the direct experience of practice.


Sesshins are for practitioners who are committed to intensive Zen practice that varies in lengths from 2 to 7 days. See our calendar of events for a full program. Single days of intensive practice are held monthly.

Inside-Zen Prison program

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Inside-Zen Prison program

Sun Mountain Zen offers a meditation program at the Woodford Correctional Centre. Meditation has long been recognised as an effective discipline and mindfulness practice that, when exercised on a regular basis, enhances practitioners ability to self regulate impulses and recognise mental conditioning. Meditation and Mindfulness training as a rehabilitation practice is designed to focus on the ability to self-control and to mitigate harmful impulses regardless of a practitioners raw intelligence or IQ.

Sun Mountain Zen also teaches a Self and Social Awareness course to Prisoners in Brisbane. This program is a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course specifically addressing self-transformation and personal development for incarcerated adults and youth.

The curriculum, which has been designed by the Prison Mindfulness Institute in the United States, teaches the following modules:

This course compliments the weekly Zen meditation practice and offers practical tools to integrate mindfulness in the daily routine of a prisoner.


Sun Mountain Zen was founded in Brisbane, Australia, in 2003 by authorized Zen Masters, Rôshi Cecilie Lander and Rôshi Mervyn Lander.

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Mervyn Lander (Gôun Ken)

Mervyn Lander (Gôun Ken)

Brisbane based Zen Master, Rôshi Mervyn Lander (Gôun Ken) is a Dharma successor of Rôshi Roselyn Stone (Sei’un An) Mervyn is also authorised to teach within the Sanbo – Zen lineage, Japan, since August 2003. He is an Anglican Priest and a retired Paediatric Surgeon. Mervyn teaches at the East Brisbane Zendo.

Cecilie Lander (Gôen An)

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Cecilie Lander (Gôen An)

Brisbane based Zen Master, Rôshi Cecilie Lander (Gôen An) is a Dharma successor of Rôshi Roselyn Stone (Sei’un An). Cecilie is also authorised to teach within the Sanbo – Zen lineage, Japan, since August 2003. She works as an Epileptologist and Neurologist and is an Anglican Priest. Cecilie teaches at the East Brisbane Zendo.

Arno Hess (Shûun-Ken)

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Arno Hess (Shûun-Ken)

Brisbane based Zen Teacher Arno Hess (Shûun-Ken) is a Dharma successor of Rôshi Mervyn Lander (Gôun Ken). Arno is also authorised to teach within the Sanbo – Zen lineage, Japan, since August 2012. Arno’s background is in business, having co-founded and managed his own technology based manufacturing company. Arno teaches at the Samford Zendo.

Sue Wolter

Sunshine Coast based Zen Teacher Sue Wolter is a Dharma successor of Rôshi Cecilie Lander (Gôen An). She has a background in psychotherapy and teaching. Sue recently retired from working with a national provider for Employee Assistance Services. Sue teaches at the Kenilworth Zendo.


Sun Mountain Zen Community