Cloud Water Zen Centre

Buddhism began in India around 2,500 years ago developing out of the life and experience of Siddhartha Gautama, who is usually referred to as the Buddha (meaning one who is awake). Zen is a branch of Buddhism which developed principally in China and Japan, before coming to the west. Our style of training and practice draws strongly on this tradition, but without slavish adherence to forms that may be inappropriate in a European context.

The word Zen comes from the Sanskrit word 'dhyana' which means absorption or meditation. The heart of Zen practice is zazen (sitting meditation). Through the practice of zazen, it is possible to cultivate greater awareness and the ability to be more present and engaged in all aspects of our daily lives. In this way, we can live both a fuller and more fulfilling life as well as developing greater empathy and compassion for others.

Zen challenges us to leave behind all of our ideas, thoughts and feelings about who we are and what life is about and to experience life directly. It requires no adherence to any belief system but rather stresses the importance of one's own personal experience of the teachings of the Buddha.

At the Cloud Water Zen Centre, we offer a range of Zen Buddhist practices including breath practice, Shikantaza (‘just sitting’) and koan practice. The koan training we offer includes study of three major koan collections (The Mumonkan, The Blue Cliff Record and The Book of Serenity) all under the guidance of a teacher who has completed koan study and is authorised to offer this uniquely Zen form of Buddhist training and practice.

Articles and Talks on Zen

Words from the Zendo
A compilation of encouragement talks by Sensei Karl Kaliski

Lay Practice (Part One)
Lay Practice (Part Two)
An edited transcript of two Dharma talks given at Zengarden by Karl Sensei, May 2014

Working with Koans
An edited transcription of a teisho given by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede during the 1992 October sesshin.

The Four Vows (Audio: MP3)
Bodhin Kjolhede Roshi, Rochester Zen Center

An Overview of the Precepts (Audio: MP3)
A teisho by Bodhin Kjolhede Roshi, November 2013

Zen and Everyday Life (Week 1)
Zen and Everyday Life (Week 2)
Zen and Everyday Life (Week 3)
Talks by Karl Sensei as part of the Zen and Everday Life course, April-May 2020

An Introduction to Working with Koans
Mumonkan No 19: Ordinary Mind is the Way
Blue Cliff Record No 1: Bodhidharma’s “I don’t know”
Talks by Karl Sensei as part of the Zen Koans for Challenging Times course, May-June 2020

Book of Serenity No 94: Dongshan is Sick
A Talk by Karl Kaliski from the Shoyuroku Koan Collection

Mumonkan No 1: The koan Mu – Working on a first Koan Pt.1
Mumonkan No 1: The koan Mu – Working on a first Koan Pt.2
Two talks discussing the process of working on a first koan

Mumonkan No 32: A non-Buddhist questions the Buddha
teisho recorded for Vesak 2020

Cloud Water Zen Centre Email:    Phone 07432 014620

Cloud Water Zen Centre is a registered charity - Cloud Water Zen SCO46443

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