Koan Study Group

Ryushin Andrea Thach, Ellen Webb, and Ron Nestor will be offering an ongoing koan study group beginning Wednesday, February 1. We’ll meet once a month on the first Wed­nesday evening from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. We’ll be using The Book of Serenity translated by Thomas Cleary, as well as commentary on each case by Yamada Koan Roshi, a contemporary Zen teacher.

The Book of Serenity is the koan collec­tion most closely associated with the spirit of our Soto lineage. We have found these koans both compel­ling and difficult in their variety of tone, emphasis, and interpretation. The stories in them are based on actual Zen practi­tioners and teachers who mostly existed in the Tang dynasty (roughly 600‒900 A.D.). The Book of Serenity was created in the twelfth century by Hongzhi, who chose the koans to include and created a verse to accompany each one. Wansong provides commentary alongside the koans. His comments run the gamut from critical to humorous, and often seem quite modern. All the koans deal with nonduality in some way, but the devil is in the nuances and the details.

We’re aiming for something between a class and a dharma group. There will be no fee. We’re hoping that participants continue to show up because of their interest. We will start out on Zoom. An announcement and link will be available in the week before the first session, as well as an earlier reminder.

If you would like more information, please contact Ellen Webb (elweb@sbcglobal.net).