What is Zen?
Zen is a true science of mind. We use the mind and body as our laboratory. The goal is awakening to our True Nature, and all along the way gaining insight into our own minds and lives. Zen is a Japanese word meaning "meditation." At Open Mind Zen, meditation is the heart of our practice. We use simple techniques that have benefited meditators for thousands of years. We also offer a course of traditional koan study. We understand that the body is a vehicle on the path, so we incorporate modern forms of yoga.
All events are donation based. We hope to make these practices available to everyone that would like to join us. If you are new to meditation, we recommend you attend a Mindfulness Meditation on Monday, 7 to 8:15 pm and/or our Beginners' Orientation, the last Sunday of each month, 9:15 to 10am.
Se habla espanol. Para espanol, email [email protected] or telefono Andy at 239-595-9502.
Our Core Practices
Zazen, Sitting Meditation
Meditation is the core of Zen practice. Meditation deepens over time, and can be a lifetime pursuit. Benefits can include increased awareness and concentration, a lessening of stress, and a greater sense of well-being. Walking meditation is offered in between sitting periods. We have both cushions and chairs for sitting.
The body is our gateway to the present moment. Through practice, we can learn to fully inhabit, cherish, and enjoy this body. Yoga practice prepares the body for deep meditation. We offer a variety of styles of yoga, all taught by experienced and nurturing teachers.
Zen is a process of uncovering unconscious habits and ways of seeing our lives. A teacher can act as a mirror, encouraging and enabling us to see our blind spots. At OMZ, students have the opportunity of working closely with teachers one-on-one.
Koans are traditional stories or interactions between students and teachers, most of which come from the Golden Age of Zen in ancient China. Their purpose is to direct us toward realization of our True Self. Koans are paradoxical in nature. They encourage us to examine our reliance on the logical mind and open to more creative problem solving.
Ways to Practice at OMZ Naples
1. Attend a class. Anyone is welcome to drop in to a yoga or meditation class. No pre-registration is required. We ask newcomers to arrive 15 minutes before class for an orientation. Suggested donation for meditation is $10. Yoga classes are individually priced. We prefer cash donations, but if needed you can donate online or write a check.
2. Become a member. If you feel a connection to OMZ and wish to meditate on a regular basis here, we welcome you to consider becoming a member. This is wonderful way to support our center and deepen your own practice. Suggested donation for membership is $60/month. This includes all OMZ weekly meditation offerings. Membership does not include yoga classes. Members receive discounts on all meditation retreats/events. To become a member, simply go to the "Donations" page and click on the appropriate Paypal button.
3. Become a Zen student. This is for those wanting to make a deeper commitment to Zen practice. This might arise out of a connection to our methods of practice, our community, and our teachers. Students will meet on a regular basis with either Kido or Andy. Suggested donation for OMZ Students is $75/month. To become a student of OMZ, please speak personally with Andy or Laurie. The following guidelines apply:
A minimum of 3 months of regular meditation practice at our center.
Committed meditation practice, a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
Study of Dharma books of your choosing or suggested by the teacher.
Regular participation in meetings and events at our center, including attendance of at least one retreat per year.
4. Become a Correspondence Student. Many people would like to practice Zen yet live in an area where there is no access to a teacher, or for various reasons don?t have the time or ability to visit a meditation center. We understand this predicament and have created a system whereby one can practice koan or other Zen study using Skype, a video conferencing program that anybody can download for free. One can realize substantial progress provided there is a commitment to regularly devote time and energy to meditation and interaction with a teacher. At Open Mind Zen, we can provide personal support for your practice online, whether you are brand new to Zen, or are looking for a new connection with a teacher. This program can be supplemented with occasional visits to Florida for workshops or retreats.
When considering your options for practicing with us, please don't let your financial situation be a determining factor. These are suggested donations. Consider what this is worth to you, and what you can afford to pay. We will never turn anyone away!