For centuries, Zen teachers have taught using the image of a mirror. Over a period of over 600 years in Japan at Tokeiji temple, 22 generations of female Zen masters developed and refined specific practices in which actual mirror reflection was used as a powerful and rapid means of awakening spiritual insight.
Over this five week self-study course, you’ll be exploring both the legacy of mirror Zen teachings from the great female Zen masters of Tokeiji, and the wider mirror-wisdom of Zen, through teachings from Daizan Roshi and Mark Kuren Westmoquette. You’ll discover what it is to encounter yourself in the mirror over a sustained period. In contrast to the Greek myth of Narcissus, where a handsome young man becomes so enchanted by his own reflection that he stops eating, withers away and dies, mirror-Zen practice is a way of liberation. As you face yourself in the mirror we’ll be working with certain koans/questions derived from the experiences of the female Zen masters from this powerful Tokeiji tradition. History has recorded generations of people finding something deeply sustaining from this Mirror-Zen practice. Much of this was attained within very turbulent, chaotic and uncertain times, making it especially relevant for the world of today. It is our sincere hope that you find this too.
These practices are suitable for beginners with a willingness to face themselves on all levels. However we would recommend you establish your basic practice through working with the ‘Practical Zen: Meditaion and Beyond’ book or the ‘Wake up and Live’ video course before going on to explore the practices described here. The retreat is also suitable for those with an established sitting practice.
What You’ll Get:
1 introductory talk video
9 Dharma talk videos (including full transcripts)
1 guided meditation video
1 recorded chanting video
1 FAQ video
Before you start, you’ll need a suitable mirror to work with. We recommend a bathroom vanity mirror on a stand that allows the angle to be adjusted easily.
Based on the 5-day Zen sesshin taught by Zen master Daizan Skinner Roshi in autumn 2021 in North Wales.