A group focusing on “The Study and Practice of Zen” meets every Sunday evening at 7 pm via Zoom for meditation, chants and readings. Anyone may join any of the group’s sessions by sending an email to zen@uusarasota.org with their name and email address. We’ll email you the particulars (password and credentials).

Each of our sessions is organized into two components:

1) The study of Zen. We explore a Zen topic by reading a lecture, book chapter or other writings by a classic Zen master as read by one of the leaders or a class member.
2) The practice of Zen. We do a zazen (Zen meditation), then we finish by chanting the centuries-old Heart Sutra and an invocation by Buddhist master Jack Kornfield.

All are welcome, beginners as well as experienced Zen practitioners.

We started the group in 2013 with the famous texts by two legendary Zen masters Shunryu Suzuki–in particular, “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind,” and Zen Master, Thicht Naht Hanh’s classic book “You Are Here.” We have since expanded the library with dozens of other texts and tracts from Thich Nhat Hanh’s lectures at his Plum Village in southern France.

Anyone interested in joining the group can write to us by using our contact form (https://louging.weebly.com/contact-us.html).

More information is available on the group’s website. Individuals can join the group at any time and need not attend every session to learn and appreciate the benefits of this classic discipline so related to the science of personal psychology and the attainment of what the Buddha referred to as enlightenment.

The co-leaders have a long-abiding interest and engagement in Zen Buddhism.  Paul Lewis has studied Zen for the past 45 years and has been hosting a regular weekly meditation group for the past 20+ years. Don DeMaio is a lifelong student of Buddhism and has been doing zazen for 15 years.

We are inspired by many of the world’ great Zen and Buddhist teachings, including the following:

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” Pema Chödrön

“You already have everything you need.” (quotation on tablet outside the Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto)