Zen Meditation

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

Learn the authentic and modern approaches
to Zen
meditation and philosophy for your
daily life.

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

There are three important elements in Zen meditation: calmness of mind, awareness of physical sensations, and observation of interactions between your physical body and social and physical environments. In our programs, you can learn not only how to meditate but also about Buddhist philosophy and history. Our programs focus on how you can incorporate Zen philosophy and meditation into your daily life as a self-cultivation practice.

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

Zen Meditation Courses in English and Japanese

During the meditation class, participants will not only receive instructions on the basics of meditation and experience it within the temple setting, but will also learn how to incorporate Zen philosophy into their daily lives. Using a scientific perspective, the vice-abbot will explain how meditation influences your mind in everyday life.

Kyoto Traditions and Zen Experience “the Way of Zen”

(Private session & reservation required)

Experience traditional Kyoto in a contemplative space.

Entering the temple from the karamon (ceremonial Chinese-style gate), guests proceed into the hojo, or prayer hall, of Shunkoin Temple. Designated as an Important Cultural Property, this structure houses nineteenth-century gold-leafed screen paintings by Kanō Eigaku, of the famed Kanō school of painters active in Kyoto. From the hōjō, guests can view the dry-landscape garden, which was modeled after the Grand Shrine of Ise and its surrounding environs.

Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami leads a Zen meditation session and philosophy lecture in English. It begins with guided meditation and moves on to zazen, a form of more independent Zen meditation. We end the session with nanso meditation, a combination of body scanning and self-compassion meditation. During this portion, you can deepen your understanding of Zen, Eastern philosophical traditions, and well-being.

You will also find pleasure in the works of Kyoto traditional crafts (Asahiyaki ceramics, metalworks from Kaikado and Kanaami Tsuji, Karacho paperworks, etc.), all of which were exclusively customized for this program. Using these handmade utensils, you will enjoy the experience of making your own tea using specially blended tea leaves from EN TEA.

This is a truly unique experience in Kyoto.

The program is also available in the evening, when the garden is lit up. The interior of the hōjō is also softly illuminated with lamps that mimic candle light, allowing guests to view the screens as they were originally seen in the nineteenth century.

Since this is private program, you can customize your experience based on the season and any special requests you may have. Tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy classes, koto (Japanese string instrument) performance and shojin (Buddhist vegan) cuisine are optional with additional fees.

Kyoto Traditions and Zen Experience “the Way of Zen” (120min. ~)

  • Private experience
  • Morning or Daytime: 1 group/day (5 people or less)
  • Evening: 1 group/day (5 people or less)
  • Please contact us for more details

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

*For all private courses, you can modify the length and contents of the courses based on your meditation experiences and knowledge. Also, the dinner option is available for private courses in evening (additional charge).

妙心寺 春光院 妙心寺 春光院

Long-term Meditation Courses

  • One-day retreat
  • Three-day retreat
  • Private retreat (one ~ three days)
  • We post the schedule of one-day and three day retreat on our website and our Peatix page
  • For private retreat programs, please contact us for availability and discussing the context.
  • We issue the certification of the completion at the end of retreat program.

Short-term Meditation Courses

Regular Zen Meditation Session (English and Japanese Available)

  • Maximum capacity: 10 people
  • Requirement: Prior to joining the in-person meditation sessions at Shunkoin Temple, you must attend our online Zen meditation & philosophy sessions at least twice.
  • Content
    • 20-minute Zen meditation
    • 20-minute nanso meditation (a combination of body-scan and self-compassion meditation which was established by Zen Master Hakuin Ekaku in the 18th century)
    • Dharma talk
    • Garden and temple tour
    • Japanese sweet and matcha green tea
  • Please contact us for more details.
  • ※Please check the calendar for availability

Online Zen Meditation Programs

Visit online program page

【in English】 https://zenwithtakakawakami.peatix.com
【in Japanese】 https://selfcultivation.peatix.com


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