Hello one and all,
The meditation group formerly known as enteringthestream, down here in Invercargill, is being relaunched on 10th January 2017 as southernzen.
This may seem like a deviation away from secularity but wait, not so fast, this is part of the ongoing experiment that is secular buddhism. Ritual and tradition play a significant role in our lives, even if we do not acknowledge it. From the simplest rituals such as the order in which we perform our ablutions when we get up each day, to the traditions of wishing each other happy new year at this time of year (happy new year by the way!), it is all part of how we express ourselves as humans.
So what we practice here at southernzen is a ‘stripped down’ version of soto zen buddhism, utilising rituals and recitations that direct us to reflect on our intentions, conduct, and integrity (wholeness), while recognising the interdependent nature of all things, what Stephen Batchelor calls ‘being completely human’. We are treading a line between the old and the new, the tried and tested and the unknown, but always the path of hope, purpose, integrity, and consideration for all beings and ecosystems.
The website is in development (are they ever finished?) but the essential information is there. The website itself is southernzen.co.nz and you can email me at email@example.com.
We welcome new members to our meetings, which are held fortnightly on Tuesdays from 7.30–9pm (full details on the website). Anyone from any traditional background, meditation practice, and those with none are welcome to come along. Our only rules are those of cooperation, consideration, and mutual respect (even when, and perhaps especially, when we disagree!).
If you have an interest in buddhism or meditation but do not wish to jump into the unknown, I plan to run some ‘introduction to buddhism and meditation’ evenings this year, so please keep an eye on the website. If it’s of interest to you email me and I will contact you with the next available date. In addition, if you are from a rural Southland community and would like me to come and teach in your area, drop me a line.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like further information.
Leon Frampton, group facilitator, southernzen (Invercargill)