A Gathering of Winds
How Do You Experience Koans?
facilitated by Michael Smith
Wednesdays, March 24-April 28
7 – 8 PM Mountain Time
In this gathering around the Zoom table we will explore Ch’an (Zen) Buddhist koans. Michael will email the koan with commentary by Ch’an masters to participants several days before gathering. After someone reads the koan out loud, we’ll meditate for ten minutes and then discuss our understanding of it with the intention of enriching everyone’s experience. During the discussion Michael will aim to provide a context for the koan, and occasionally contribute poems by Ch’an and Taoist poets to help tease out its Buddhist teaching(s). Depending on interest, we may devote a week or the entire two months to a koan. Participants will be encouraged to suggest koans and host the discussion.
We’ll be using the koan collections The Blue Cliff Record (Thomas Cleary and J. C.Cleary, translators), The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-men Kuan (Robert Aitken, translator), and No-Gate Gateway: The Original Wu-men Kuan (David Hinton, translator).
To receive the koans ahead of time, email email@example.com and we will forward your email to Michael Smith. Offered freely by the Bozeman Zen Group; dana grateful accepted at http://bozemanzengroup.org.
To join the meeting, use Zoom meeting number 958-657-6266 or this link.
About the host – Michael has been practicing Buddhism for two decades. First practicing in the Vipassana tradition in Santa Fe, NM he wandered to Ch’an and became a student of Joan Sutherland, Roshi. He studied koans with Roshi Joan for a number of years until her retirement. Trained as a chemist, he is a published poet, and enjoys exploring the wilderness and volunteer work in Bozeman and Nepal.