We are an informal group of Zen practitioners who meet every week to practise zazen for an hour and then discuss Buddhist ideas and practice as applied to our everyday life.
We welcome questioning, exploration and challenge. Buddhist practice is live and ongoing and is an invitation to come see for yourself. The heart of practice is zazen, sitting upright and being fully unified in body/mind, present to our here-and-now experience.
We value active reflection as an important dimension of practice, not taking up a belief system, but providing open space for investigation of what it means to live a free, sane and balanced human life here and now. This was the original intention of the Buddha.
We are part of DOGEN SANGHA, a 'federal' free association of individuals and practice groups who take C13th Zen Master Dogen as a core inspiration, based on the translation and interpretation work of Gudo Wafu Nishijima and his student Mike Luetchford, and who have sprung from the Soto Zen lineage. It is non-religious in the sense of not taking up Buddhist beliefs or ritual, instead emphasising the fundamental importance of sitting in zazen and in everyday life as the way to practice a sane and balanced life.
Inspiration is drawn from a range of sympathetic Zen teachers and translators past and present, such as Nagarjuna, Kodo Sawaki, Sunryu Suzuki, Steve Hagen, Charlotte Joko Beck, Kosho Uchiyama, Shohaku Okumura, Kobun Chino Otogawa, and other practitioners and scholars who look to Dogen and Zen for understanding of the Buddhist Way as applicable in the 21st century.
The basis for the group is practice. We have no hierarchy or subscription and no requirements for joining, except a shared interest in exploring what the Way might look like in the C21st. Donations towards the cost of the space are appreciated, but feel free to attend even if you can't afford that.
We meet every Monday evening 7.45 - 9.30pm and every Sunday morning 9am - 10am with extended sitting on the first Sunday of the month- see the Practice Day page. Please arrive 10 mins before; prompt start.
'The Drawing Room', Unit 4 (upstairs next to 'Beauty By Kate'), 10 Heritage Courtyard, Sadler St, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2RR.
For further information, call Paul Crummay on
Paul Tetsudo Crummay, who set up the group in 2013, has been practising Buddhism for 36 years. His first practice was self-taught zen-based, then he became an ordained member of the Triratna Buddhist Order between 1989 and 2009. He took up zazen again in 1994 and, having resigned from Triratna in 2009, practises with Mike Luetchford as his teacher, who established Dogen Sangha in the UK. Paul has received dharma transmission (shiho) from him in this lineage that traces back through Gudo Wafu Nishijima, his teachers Niwa Renpo and Kodo Sawaki, back to Dogen and his Chinese teachers.
(below) Dogen's dharma transmission certificate: all the teachers of the past are named around the circle with the Buddha in the middle: his name appears at '6 o'clock'; this is the same format we use for transmission today, but in English.