July 27 - August 2, 2018
Awakening Body, Speech and Mind. A time to explore who you are through writing, yoga and meditation with Kuya Minogue
Yoga, sitting meditation and writing meditation, when combined, offer a week that invigorates body, speech and mind in a creative, well thought-out and balanced workshop presentation. This is a chance to integrate practices that opens the joints, deepens awareness of the mind and brings sparkle to self-expression. We will study ourselves, forget ourselves and become one with all beings through stillness, movement and writing.
Kuya is resident priest at Sakuraji. She has been studying Soto Zen since 1986. She recently completed a practice period at Green Gulch Farm with Tenshin Reb Anderson as the guiding teacher. Kuya studied writing practice with Natalie Goldberg in Taos, New Mexico and yoga with the Yasodhara Ashram in the Kootenays. She has been offering workshops similar to this one since 1993.
Below is an article she wrote for Issues Magazine.net • November, December 2011 and January 2012 • Creston Zendo now Open for Practice • When she first taught at Johnsons's Landing.
When I first encountered Zen practice in 1986, my teacher, Mokushin Hart, suggested that I read The Diamond Sutra from beginning to end without trying to understand it as I had been trained in my Western education. One evening I did just that and read it without stopping in four hours. The Diamond Sutra is a very obscure text, and when I finished it I believed that I didn’t understand a word I’d read. But that morning, around three am, I suddenly awoke, sat straight up in bed and said aloud, “My purpose in life is to meditate and teach meditation.” Realizing this insight has been the focus of my life ever since. When I separated from organized Buddhism in 1993 and moved back to Canada, I created a zendo and offered meditation wherever I lived. My first zendo was in a scrubbed-out chicken coop on Cortes Island, my second in a red nylon tent on an acreage in Burns Lake. When I was teaching in northern aboriginal communities, my zendo was a corner of an 8x10 hotel room, in Golden it was in the second bedroom of whatever house I was renting. I happily taught meditation in all those locations never imagining that life would bring me a back yard zendo as beautiful as the one that I can now see out my kitchen window. Constructing the Zendo was a great spiritual experience, as we got to practice patience, faith that what we were doing made sense, and an ascetic life style so we could pay for materials and labour. This was definitely a labour of love. The designer and head builder, Sean Mahoney, and the project manager, Daniel Kempling, took the project from drawing board to backyard zendo with discipline and devotion. They began with a truckload of logs and ended with a traditional Japanese temple building that is so beautiful, one can’t resist meditating in it. The temple is a two-floor building, 16 x 28 feet. On the main floor is the meditation hall and in the basement a two bedroom residence with a small kitchen and bathroom. The meditation hall has no metal in the post and beam structure. The builders milled the square logs into traditional Japanese joints and then put the post and beam structure up as if it were a giant Lego set. I’m sure this absence of metal contributes to the way the zendo is already holding the energy of stillness and peace that we generate during our daily meditation practice and retreats. As a bonus that we didn’t imagine, the meditation hall has perfect acoustics. We have hosted two concerts: one with a piano and cello and the other, a string quartet. Each time, every seat was filled and each time, the audience left with smiles and exclamations of wonder. The Creston Zendo is now open for residential training. Serious Zen students can live at the Zen Centre and participate in our sitting schedule based on a full monastic training. If you are travelling through Creston, take some time and meditate with us. Email first to make sure I’m not away on a teaching retreat email@example.com or visit www.zenwords.ca.