“Mind Only” — a Zen Study Retreat, June 2017

In English with Greek translation

Buddha Shakyamuni, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Huineng and Dogen are the great historical teachers of Soto-Zen. All of them expressed the Zen teaching in a different way, and yet each one of them expressed it completely, with the compassionate aim of liberating suffering beings.

In Zen there is a tradition of study retreats; in Japanese they are called genzo-e.

We will dedicate this first genzo-e at Athens Zen Center to the study of Vasubandhu.

Vasubandhu, who lived in India in the 5th century, declared that all things are “Mind Only”. We will try to understand his teachings through one of his most influential texts: “30 Verses on Mind Only”. We will also discuss how to creatively apply these teachings in daily life in order to liberate ourselves and others from being trapped in negative thoughts and emotions.

In addition we will look at later Zen texts – koans and Dogen’s writing to see how deeply Vasubandhu has influenced Zen.

The retreat will include 2 study periods a day and about 4 periods of meditation.

No prior knowledge of Buddhism is required, but please bring a willingness to examine your experience in an open way.

Recommended reading: Ben Connelly, Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara.

The text of the thirty verses can be accessed here »


June 23, 8pm: Introduction into Zen meditation and Vasubandhu’s teaching.
June 24, 11am-6pm: Retreat
June 25, 11am-6pm: Retreat