Introductory Workshops, conducted by Roshi Graef and her students, are a practical and authentic introduction to Zen Buddhism. During the half-day schedule of talks, question periods, demonstrations and guided meditation, participants are introduced to the body-mind disciplines of Zen Buddhism.
In addition to providing an introduction to Zen, workshops are an ideal time to see how spiritual training is carried on at the Center. Members are happy to answer questions about the Zen Center and its programs. People who wish to discuss their own spiritual practice can talk with the roshi during the question-and-answer period or during breaks.
Roshi Graef begins the workshop with an introductory talk about the life of the Buddha and the main principles of Zen.
- Meditation postures, methods of breathing and ways of concentrating the mind are taught by a senior member, followed by two periods of guided Zen meditation.
- After the sitting there is a question and answer period as well as a discussion lead by Roshi Graef on how to relate Zen to daily life.
- The workshop ends with a brief meeting for those who would like information about practicing at the Vermont Zen Center. Books on Buddhism are available, as are order forms for purchasing sitting garments and cushions.
On the Sunday morning following the workshop, participants are welcome to come to the sitting, which may also include a chanting service and Zen talk.
Open to all people 18 and over (under 18 if accompanied by a parent or older friend and with parental consent). As space is limited, reservations must be made in advance, including payment in full. When cancellations are made less than one week before the workshop, the contribution may be used for a subsequent workshop, but cannot be refunded. Assume you are accepted unless you hear to the contrary. Reservation Form.
The Center can provide overnight accommodations for a nominal fee if arrangements are made in advance. Please Note that the Zen Center is a place of spiritual practice with a focus of silent meditation and introspection. With that in mind, all rooms are single occupancy. Couples do not share bedrooms.
What to Wear
Loose-fitting clothing is ideal. Skirts should be both long and full enough to sit with the legs crossed; pants should be quite loose. Best not to wear jeans. Please do not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts.
Instructor, Roshi Sunyana Graef
Roshi Graef is the founder and teacher of the Vermont Zen Center. She began training in Zen in 1969 at the Rochester Zen Center in Rochester, NY. She was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in 1986 and sanctioned as the Dharma Heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau in 1987. Roshi Graef also teaches at the Casa Zen de Costa Rica in Santo Tomas.