Zen Group of Western Australia

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Zen Group of Western Australia
Information
Main School Mahayana
Sub School Zen, Soto Zen
Affiliation Diamond Sangha founded by Aitken Roshi
Founded 1983
People
Teacher(s) Ross Bolleter Roshi, Mari Rhydwen Roshi, Ian Sweetman Roshi
Rōshi(s) Ross Bolleter Roshi, Mari Rhydwen Roshi, Ian Sweetman Roshi
Contact Infotmation
Address 162 Hampton Rd
Beaconsfield
Western Australia 6162
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (08) 9430 9155
Mobile 04 13 826 119
Website http://www.zgwa.org.au/
Postal Address PO Box 442 FREMANTLE, WA 6959
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Our Origins and History

The Zen Group of Western Australia started in 1983 with a small group of people sitting in a private home in Mt. Claremont, Perth. It is affiliated with the Diamond Sangha tradition of Zen Buddhism, which was founded in Hawaii in 1959 by Robert Aitken and his wife Anne Aitken. Robert Aitken’s book, "Taking the Path of Zen," is a wonderful introduction to Zen practice, and is available for purchase at our Zendo.

Our lineage comes from the Sanbō Kyōdan (the Order of the Three Treasures), which was started by Yasutani Haku'un in Japan, in 1954, and was grounded in the thinking of Yasutani’s teacher Harada Daiun Sogaku, a Sōtō priest who had studied with Rinzai teachers. Harada and Yasutani amalgamated the heart teachings of the two main schools of Japanese Zen, Sōtō and Rinzai, to make a practice suitable for lay students.


Robert Aitken was one of the early Western students of Zen Buddhism. He studied with Nyogen Senzaki in Los Angeles in the late 1940’s. Subsequently, he trained with Nakagawa Soen and completed his formal Zen training with Yamada Ko'un. In 1974 Robert Aitken was given authority to teach by Yamada Koun, the abbot of the Sanbō Kyōdan in Kamakura. Yamada gave Robert Aitken full Dharma transmission in 1985.

In the Diamond Sangha students are taught breath meditation, as well as the practices of shikantaza (“just sitting”), and working with koans. The core teachings are those of Mahayana Buddhism as they come down through India, China and Japan. Diamond Sangha communities integrate the Zen Way into lay life.

Robert Aitken and his successor John Tarrant both taught in Western Australia and fostered the group over many years. The ZGWA now has two teachers:Ross Bolleter, who was authorized to teach in 1992, and received transmission from Robert Aitken and John Tarrant in 1997, and Mari Rhydwen who was authorized as a teacher in 2005 by Ross Bolleter, and was given transmission by him in 2014. Our teachers offer dokusan (personal interviews), and Dharma talks on a regular basis.

The Zen Group of Western Australia offers a supportive and encouraging environment in which students can come together to learn Zen meditation and study Zen Buddhism.




The Zen Group of Western Australia (ZGWA) meets at St Paul's Anglican church hall, 162 Hampton Rd, Beaconsfield (close to South Fremantle). We meet on Thursday evenings for meditation and other Dharma activities. We also conduct short retreats (Zazenkais) and long retreats (Sesshins). See when and where for details.

The ZGWA is fortunate to have two Zen teachers, Ross Bolleter and Mari Rhydwen. The group's teachers support each students' efforts, and are a source of guidance and encouragement.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ZGWA's activities. See sitting with us for details of what to expect when you come along.