On this website you will find a brief introduction to Buddhism and Zen practice, some key texts and details of how to do "zazen", the core Buddhist practice of calm / insight and full expression of balance and the natural state. You will also find details of the practice group here in Wells, to which you are warmly invited.
There are many flavours and styles of Buddhism in the world, from the colourful and deity-laden Tibetan Tantra, the severe Japanese form of Zen, the ancient Indian forms, such as Theravada and the Forest Monks of Sri Lanka, and Western forms that offer visions of community with ideals of spiritual attainment to pursue. They all spring from the fundamental insights into reality that Gotama Buddha realised 2500 years ago that still have the power to inform the nature of our life today.
The practice on offer here is based on 13C Zen teacher Dogen's expression of Buddhism made clear and accesible for the 21st century. It is simple, direct and with minimal ritual, based in practice and everyday life. It is founded on the Buddha's suggestion that we practice 'present-moment-attention' to discover the true nature of our experience instead of relying on beliefs, teachers or hearsay. Our group has no joining requirements or subscriptions, no hierarchies and no particular beliefs to sign up to. All that is needed is the willingness to explore, question and practice.
Buddhist truth is something to do, rather than something to think about. It is a way of life that provides values to live by, reduces stress, eases chronic dissatisfaction and creates a grounded basis for healthy everyday activity. It is not based in idealistic spiritual aspiration or religion, nor is it a materialistic value-free "do-as-you-want" view of life. It does not require a belief in god or gods. It is not Indian, Tibetan, Chinese or Japanese. It is not American or Western, but universal.
Buddhism invites us to move out of our heads and fully into life, with pragmatic suggestions as to how we might do that in our everyday experience. The Buddha invited us not to "believe", but to "come and see for yourself".