The Zen Center conducts Introduction to Zen Practice workshops monthly throughout the year. These workshops provide practitioners with basic, practical information on how to meditate, how to establish regular home and daily Zen practice, the aims of practice, and what opportunities for additional or more advanced practice are offered. Attendance at an introductory workshop is required of anyone who would like to become a member of the Great Plains Zen Center.
Workshops are half-day events (8:30 to 11:30 AM) and are generally held at both the Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church in Palatine, Illinois and at Myoshinji in Monroe, Wisconsin. An optional, informal lunch is provided. First-time workshop participants are asked to make a $25 donation. (There is no charge for repeating the workshop!) Please wear dark, loose-fitting clothes for workshop. For comfort and decorum, we ask that participants refrain from wearing shorts and jeans. Sweatpants or other comfortable, soft pants are preferred. For information on upcoming workshops and related registration pages, please see our calendar.
Zen in the Academic Classroom
If you are searching for a lively way to bring home to students the nature and practice of Zen Buddhism, you may wish to consider a classroom visitation by our teacher, Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi. Whether for courses in comparative religion, the humanities, area studies, philosophy, American studies, or women’s studies, Myoyu Roshi’s unique background gives her a perspective that students will find vitally relevant to ordinary daily life.
Trained for over twenty years by Taizan Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, Myoyu Roshi was ordained a Buddhist nun in 1978, and received shiho, or Dharma transmission, in 1995, authorizing her to become a Zen teacher in her own right. Today, Myoyu Roshi is the Director of the Great Plains Zen Center in Chicago, Illinois, and is currently overseeing construction of a new retreat center, Myoshinji (Subtle Mind Temple) located in southern Wisconsin.
Far from being a cloistered monastic, however, Myoyu Roshi is the mother of two children and works as an occupational therapist in the Chicago area. Her experiences as a parent and as a therapist for people with severe mental and physical disabilities have endowed her with a marvelous breadth of experience that will help you and your students to appreciate the relevance of Zen practice in ordinary daily life.
To arrange a visit to your classroom by Myoyu Roshi, simply contact us. Please provide full contact information, and we will get in touch with you soon to schedule a classroom visit.