Zen-Retreat with Bernd Bender

Organized by: Zen in Athens, November 9-11, 2018
Hosted by: Zen Center Athens

Free introduction to meditation and Zen: Friday, November 9, 8-10p.m.
Retreat Sat. & Sun., November 10-11, 11a.m–6.p.m.

This retreat is open to everyone: people with or without meditation experience.

Zen is the practice of “dropping body and mind” — but what does this actually mean?

At the beginning of Soto-Zen practice as we are cultivating it in Athens and Berlin stands a story: the story of Dogen, a young monk who went to China to learn Zen. After 5 years of devoted practice with his teacher Rujing, Dogen gained awakening when he heard Rujing say in the meditation hall: “Just drop body and mind”.
This teaching of “dropping of body and mind” has since become central to Soto-Zen and an inspirational instruction for many generations of practitioners.
And yet — for many, the “dropping of body and mind” has remained a mystery, a koan, and a longing rarely achieved. So during this weekend of practice, we will raise questions: what is body? what is mind? what is “dropping”? And also: what is awakening?
In sitting meditation, in listening to and reflecting upon the teachings we will hopefully gain some insight into the liberating quality of Dogen’s practice.

The retreat is open to everyone – no prior meditation experience or knowledge of Buddhist teachings is required. Bernd will speak in English with Greek translation if necessary.

Bernd Bender has practiced Zen since 1987. He went to California in 1994 to continue his studies at San Francisco Zen Center. He received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach) from Dairyu Michael Wenger and is a lineage holder of Soto-Zen. In 2012 he moved to Berlin, where he offers Zen practice, teaches courses in meditation and Buddhist thought, lectures, and accompanies people on their spiritual paths.
Several times a year he comes to Athens to support people in their Zen practice.
Bernd studied literature and philosophy in Frankfurt and Berkeley. »

Friday evening 8-10p.m.: Introduction into Zen-meditation: free
Saturday & Sunday 11a.m–6.p.m.: Zazen (meditation), dharma talks, personal interview (dokusan) if wished for: 40€ both days or 25€ / day
Location: Zen Center Athens, Aghias Eirinis square, Limpona 2 & Vasilikis, 10560 Athens

Scholarships for reduced course fees are available from „Zen in Athens“. In this case, please write to us at the following gmail address or send us a message at our facebook page „Zen in Athens“.

Please register by sending an email to: