Regina Zen Sangha

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For Beginners

Our sitting time starts at 10:30 AM on Saturday mornings.  Please do not arrive any later than 5 minutes before the sitting starts.  The 2nd floor door of the Centennial Lounge (our usual room within the Knox) will be closed at 10:30 AM and re-opened after the 30 minutes sitting session.  If you arrive late, you will have to wait outside until 11 AM when the Dharma Talk starts.

Anyone is welcome anytime to join our regular sittings. We begin each sitting with three bows to acknowledge and show respect to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. This is then followed by a 30 minute sitting in quiet, unguided meditation. After the sitting, the teacher will often give a talk about Zen practice (also known as a "Dharma Talk"). Once the Dharma Talk is over, feel free to ask questions and participate in any discussions that might arise.

Prior to entering the Centennial Lounge, we kindly ask that you remove your shoes and leave them outside of the room as our Sangha tries to keep our rental space as clean as possible. And while our regular Saturday sittings and teachings are free, we welcome donations to our Dana box to help cover the cost of the room rental.

You may also find this PDF helpful: What to Prepare for Zen Class


Our Sangha usually offers the Beginners Class once each year. Don't worry if you miss this course - you are welcome to attend our regular sittings without having to go through the class. However, our teacher recommends that you take the time to browse through the past lessons notes to have a provisional understanding of our practice.

The Beginners Class was first taught in the Fall of 2009 to provide a foundation for the beginner's practice and understanding of Zen. Below are examples of what has been taught previously:

Lesson 1 - The Buddha and his teachings

Lesson 1 - Sitting instructions

Lesson 2 - The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Lesson 3 - What is Zen?

Lesson 3 - Rinzai Zen

Lesson 3 - Soto Zen

Lesson 4 - Preparing for Zen Practice

Lesson 5 - Dharma Seals - Suffering

Lesson 6 - Dharma Seals - Impermanence

Lesson 6 - Dharma Seals - No Self

Lesson 7 - Karma and the Nature of Consciousness

Lesson 8 - The Ten Ox Herding Pictures

Lesson 9 - The Six Paramitas

Lesson 10 - The Three Gems Explained - also check out the audio Dharma Talk about the Three Gems and the Five Precepts on SoundCloud


Several of our practicing members have graciously allowed us to post lessons they have delivered at past sittings:

The Founding of Mahayana Buddhism.pdf

Twelve Dependent Origination.pdf

Suffering and Impermanence - Jeff Knievel

Surrender - Jeff Knievel


Once in a while, we offer an Advance Practitioner's Course for those members who have a regular Zen practice and have mastered the foundations of Zen. This course is by invitation of the teacher to those who are ready and is usually comprised of those who have already taken the Three Gems and Five Precepts (although sometimes exceptions are made).  

Here is a glimpse of the topics covered in the last class taught by Lotus: 

Advance Class Topics & Reading List.pdf

And excerpts of some handouts provided in that class:


Elements of a solitary retreat.pdf

Nibbana as a living experience.pdf