Zen is a way of living which uses the traditional disciplines of meditation, mindfulness and the precepts to develop compassion for all beings, including oneself. "Zen is something to be practised in our daily life as air is breathed by anyone at any time. Zen is nothing but the total living of this encounter at each moment by throwing away our preconceived ideas and our plans...This is the deepest root and foundation of human life: it has nothing to do with following a religious sect." [Hogensan]


Books on Zen are many and diverse. I recommend the ones listed below as providing an excellent introduction to what Zen is about:

Thich Nhat Hanh:
Being Peace and Peace Is Every Step

Shunryu Suzuki:
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness

Robert Aitken:
The Mind of Clover

The Other Shore

Charlotte Joko Beck:
Nothing Special and Everyday Zen

Diana St Ruth:
Sitting - A Guide to Buddhist Meditation

Brad Warner:
Hardcore Zen


Sitting on your cushion, you sit with the whole universe. However, most people find it helpful to get together in a group from time to time. I suggest these contacts:

Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey

Dogen Sangha

Another group I would like to bring to your attention is:

The Buddhist Hospice Trust

If I can help with anything further please feel free to contact me at xyzpardos@globalnet.co.uk (but remove the xyz from the address first - it's inserted here merely to deter automated spammers). If you're looking for the Chester Zen Group (which still appears in Buddhist directories - they seem to copy from each other without checking the facts) I'm afraid it has been defunct for some years now.


October 1st 2010