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Auckland Zen Centre

Centre description
The Auckland Zen Centre is a Zen Buddhist community established in 2004 by two disciples of Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede, Dharma heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau and present Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center in upstate New York. Auckland-born Sensei Amala Wrightson, a Zen teacher and priest of the Three Jewels Order, and her husband Richard von Sturmer, a lay member of the Order, have both undergone extensive Zen training under Roshi Kjolhede and have resettled in New Zealand after over a decade living and working at the Rochester Zen Center. Both have completed the formal koan curriculum under Roshi Kjolhede. Richard was given permission to offer daisan (one-to-one instruction). Sensei Amala received formal permission to teach, through a teacher sanctioning ceremony, in August 2004.

The purpose of the Auckland Zen Centre is to foster authentic Zen Buddhist practice, and a vibrant Sangha of committed practitioners, by means of regular formal sittings, live Dharma talks and teishos, dokusan, a full range of ceremonies to mark important days on the Buddhist calendar, community service, social events, activities for families, sesshin and residential training.

Zen takes commitment, discipline, and, most important of all, the will to integrate the fruits of sitting practice into one's everyday life. Zazen, practiced with devotion, begins to uncover our mind of clear awareness. We must then endeavor to engage this mind in every aspect of our lives. Sooner or later, when the mind is brought to a state of complete absorption and self-forgetfulness, one sees into one's True Nature. One experiences the indivisibility of all things, and the interpenetration of form and emptiness. This is kensho, or an initial awakening. Kensho marks a new beginning in one's practice, rather than an end-point. Enlightenment is the heart of Zen practice and yet it is negated if it is turned into something fixed; it has no meaning outside of its realization in this moment, and in the next, and the next. And so our task as Zen practitioners is endless, as Zen Master Dogen said:

There is no beginning to practice and end to enlightenment. There is no beginning to enlightenment and end to practice.

It is in this spirit that practice is undertaken at the Auckland Zen Centre: Zen practice as a way of realizing our innate wisdom, compassion and virtue, moment by moment, for the sake of all sentient and insentient beings. There are no enlightened people, only enlightened actions.

Dharmic activities
Meditation workshops, formal sittings, chanting services, dokusan (one-to-one instruction with the teacher), teisho (discourses by the teacher), Dharma talks (talks by senior students), term intensives (lay training periods), sesshin (intensive retreats), zazenkai (one-day sittings), ceremonies (Bodhidharma Day, Buddha's Enlightenment, New Year, Waitangi Day, Vesak, Matariki Jukai, Kannon Day), Dharma study.
Community service
University chaplaincy at AUT and hospice volunteering through Amitabha Hospice Service.
Established 2004
Founder Sensei Amala Wrightson
Lineage Japanese: Harada-Yasutani
Affiliation Cloud Water Sangha
Lineage holder / Director Sensei Amala Wrightson
Centre teacher(s) Sensei Amala Wrightson
Members & Friends 50   2 registered  
Language(s) English
Where on earth is Auckland Zen Centre?
Auckland Zen Centre
15 Church St
Onehunga Auckland
New Zealand 1061
Contact Amala-sensei
Tel +64 9 550 4383 or +64 9 520 0531
Email info@aucklandzen.org.nz
WWW www.aucklandzen.org.nz
Update 2010-02-15
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