The Opawa Zendo, Christchurch
Our group will not be sitting together physically while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We will be offering on-line meditation options and instruction in meditation. Please see the homepage for details. We also encourage you to listen to the recorded talks from the teachers at Zen Mountain Monastery.
The Christchurch MRO Zen group holds two Zen Buddhist meditation sessions each week at the Opawa Zendo: on Sunday morning and Tuesday evening.
We are open to people of all cultural, ethnic, gender and religious backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing Zen Buddhist meditation.
It is necessary to have received beginning instruction in Zen meditation (zazen) before taking part in the regular weekly schedule of practice at the zendo.
Instruction in zazen is available by appointment – call or email us to arrange. This session provides guidance in the practice of seated and walking Zen meditation, and to the resources and retreats of the MRO in New Zealand. Beginning instruction includes two periods of meditation and opportunities to ask questions. There is no charge for beginning instruction, but any donation would be welcome.
When attending the zendo, a $5 weekly donation towards the upkeep of the building is suggested. However we don't wish finances to be a barrier to practice for anyone.
Along with the weekly meditation schedule, the Opawa Zendo holds a range of events and activities providing rich opportunities to practice and connect with others. Christchurch MRO Zen practitioners take part in regular half-days or full-days of meditation (zazenkai). Held on Saturdays or Sundays, zazenkai typically include a caretaking practice, liturgy, a dharma talk, or an on-line discussion with one of our Zen teachers. These discussions allow practitioners to clarify their understanding of Zen.
During intensive training periods in spring, practitioners meet at the Zendo for art-practice, and discussions of Zen Buddhist practice, often stimulated by studying a particular Buddhist text.
For our full calendar of events click here. To add our calendar to your personal calendar click here (copy and paste into any calendar product that supports the ical format).
National MRO Zen Events
Each January, the Christchurch MRO Zen group holds a programme of Zen events led by an MRO Zen teacher or senior student of the MRO. This is a valuable opportunity for Zen practitioners to share in discussions, workshops and retreats. In 2020, these Zen events will be led by Ron Hogen Green, Sensei, a Zen teacher in the MRO.
Each July, the Nelson MRO group hosts the head of the MRO, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi. His visit includes a public talk, discussion periods, face-to-face teaching, and a weekend retreat. The culmination of these events is the week-long silent meditation intensive known as sesshin.
Please see NZ Events for upcoming events.
In addition to this schedule of Zen practice, the Opawa Zendo hosts regular classes in Feldenkreis, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Insight Meditation and Mindfulness.
Zen Meditation Times
The following sessions have been suspended due to COVID-19:
Please contact us to arrange beginning instruction before attending these sessions for the first time.
Sunday mornings: 10am - 12.30pm
Regular schedule of chanting, zazen (2 x 30mins), kinhin, followed by one of:
3rd period of zazen
Caretaking practice (cleaning, gardening, etc)
Listening to recorded Dharma Talk
Informal Practice discussion group
Sometimes we'll end by having a shared lunch at the zendo or nearby cafe.
Tuesday evenings: 7.00 - 8.20pm
Zazen (2 x 30min), kinhin, liturgy (bodhisattva vows)
Beginning instruction in zazen is available by appointment.
To learn more about the Christchurch MRO Zen group, or schedule a time for beginner instruction (offered Tues evenings) in zen meditation (zazen) please contact us via email or phone.
The Opawa Zendo
4 Kennedy Place
The Opawa Zendo is a peaceful and affordable venue available for hire for ongoing or one-off events.
Please contact us to find out more.