Athens

The Art of „Just sitting“

Zen-Retreat with Bernd Bender
, Athens, January 19–21, 2018

Free Introductory lecture on Zen: Friday, January 19, 7-10 p.m.

Retreat: Sat. & Sun. January 20-21, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
This retreat is organized by Zen in Athens with the support of Zen Center Athens and it is open for everyone: people with or without meditation experience.

Dogen Zenji, a great Zen Master of the 13. century, wrote about Zazen or Zen meditation: “The Zazen I teach is not meditation – it is simply the Great Gate to joy and ease.”
This statement is of course a koan — a zen teaching story through which we can explore our life: Is there anything to accomplish with meditation? Do we feel something is lacking in our life – or is it perfect just as it is? And if so, how can we experience and express this perfection directly?
Dogen gave us the practice of “just sitting” or shikantaza to express our innermost core, longing and perfection. In this retreat we will explore what “just sitting” actually is, we will practice “just sitting” and allow its liberating force to touch us.

Friday evening will begin with an introduction into meditation, followed by a talk on Zen practice. Saturday and Sunday we will sit meditation together, listen to a talk and take time to share and reflect about our own experience. 
We will have lunch together in silence, and have individual opportunities to meet and speak with the teacher.
Bernd Bender has practiced Zen since 1987. He went to California in 1994 to continue his studies at San Francisco Zen Center. Bernd received Dharma transmission (authorization to teach) and is a lineage holder in the Zen tradition. In 2012 he moved to Berlin and opened Akazienzendo, a place for a contemporary expression of Zen. Since 2014 he has also been teaching at Zen Center Athens >>. While continuing to teach at Zen Center Athens, Bernd will also conduct additional retreats for people who are interested in practicing with him on a regular basis.
In order to make this practice available to anyone who is interested, it is offered on a donation basis. If you can, please give in order to support Zen practice in Athens. If your funds are limited, please feel free to come and give your interest and effort.

Cost:
 Friday evening: Introduction into Zen-meditation: free

Saturday & Sunday: Zazen, dharma talks, private conversations with teacher: 40€ both days or 25€ /day

Location: Zen Center Athens, Limpona 2 & Vasilikis, 10560 Athens
Questions & registration: in.athens.zen@gmail.com
You can attend parts of the retreat. Financial assistance & scholarships available.