Open Mind Zen Louisville

1013 Bardstown Rd., alley entrance 

through orange door

Louisville, KY 

ABOUT

Open Mind Zen Louisville (OMZL) offers meditation instruction, dharma talks and sitting practice three days a week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 am -12:30 pm.

Saturday practice is now available by Zoom. Email omzlouisville@gmail.com for the Zoom link and practice instructions.


OMZL is an affiliate of Open Mind Zen, run by Assistant Teacher Angie Reed Garner under the auspices of Al Fusho Rapaport, Roshi. Read more about them both here. 

Sign up for the weekly newsletter with the practice schedule, the week's dharma study theme, and OMZL news here. Cancellations are announced via this OMZL newsletter email list. You may email to be manually added to the mailing list: omzlouisville@gmail.com

Anyone is welcome to attend our sits for free. It's appreciated but not required that attendees drop a contribution in the "dana" (donation) bowl. 



Zen training, in contrast to casual attendance, may include any and all of these modalities.


WHEN

Meditation practice (with a dharma talk) is available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 to 12:30 in person; the Saturday practice is accessible by Zoom. The door is open 15 minutes before each sitting begins, so knock if you find it accidentally locked.

Online group dharma study and discussion via email takes place with your own schedule. Reflection questions are generally offered weekly.

Improv theatre practice happens Friday evenings, 6-8 pm. Basics are offered to newcomers every practice. Meanwhile, workshops with Chris Anger and Brian Hinds of the Louisville Improvisors are occasionally offered— don't miss! If you are interested, ask to be added to the weekly improv announcement list. omzlouisville@gmail.com

Individualized sutra and/or koan study, practice meetings, and Precepts preparation are by arrangement with the teacher. 

Workshops and retreats are announced in the OMZL weekly newsletter.

Meet elder feline Louis Katto, resident at OMZL. Interactions with students are generally minimal, as he sits his own cushion and has his own practice... but occasionally his zendo etiquette lapses and he wishes to practice from a student's lap. If feline allergies are a factor for you and you wish to avoid direct contact, definitely let the teacher know. 

WHERE

OMZL is located in a former warehouse space—converted to an art gallery—called garner LARGE (art) at 1013 Bardstown Rd., alley entrance. Search "garner LARGE" with a mapping program. Google Maps

There are 3-4 parking spaces by the orange door and garage bay door that you are welcome to use. Don't park at Jack Fry's.

WHAT (to know, bring, or expect)

Chairs with wedge cushions, a few floor cushions, and a seiza bench are provided. 

Practice takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am-12:30 pm. 

Always be invited to adjust your posture or do moving meditation—and any other self-care—during the practice. Moving meditation includes regular or slow walking, seated or standing bows, gently raising and lowering the knees while remaining seated, and movement at whatever pace via use of any kind of mobility device.

Guidelines for the Saturday Zoom-accessible sit are available by email: omzlouisville@gmail.com

WHY (AND HOW)

OMZL is a lay-focused Zen tradition, about training to live well "in the marketplace" meaning while immersed in daily life—with full responsibility for self, family and community. We train where we live, in ever-changing physical, emotional, and mental realities and circumstances. Lay life provides endless opportunity to deepen one's practice.

Some students might like an orientation to zen practice, help in finding a comfortable and stable sitting posture, and/or zendo (practice hall) etiquette. Please make an appointment for that—usually time can be made available right before a scheduled sit, with notice. omzlouisville@gmail.com or text (502) 303-7259

ACCESSIBILITY

All Zen students need to stay ready to meditate in different postures, not just one. Bodies and minds change, and this is a practice for the long haul. 

Meditation is often taught with an expectation of bodily stillness. That expectation itself can cause suffering, and create a barrier to practice which may harden over time into outright aversion. Practitioners are encouraged to set aside the goal of stillness and work instead on sensitivity and compassion for their own particular experience. By prioritizing comfort and stability, and making ready use of movement meditation (ex. when the body is stiff or restless, legs get numb or the mind agitated), students generally relax and settle. Stillness finds the practitioner.

Neurodiverse people (for instance, students with ADHD, MS, or anxiety) may especially benefit from setting aside stillness as a goal. It is not disruptive to sangha when a practitioner quietly walks, stims, adjusts their posture, or fidgets.

In OMZL practices and special events, students are expected to move at will and need, and to take good care of themselves. This can even be a difficult practice, especially in the beginning!

Kinhin is understood as "moving meditation" to include whatever movements are available to students, at whatever pace. Students may remain entirely seated, or use mobility devices.

Meditation Posture 

Some OMZL students meditate in a chair plus an angled chair cushion, which brings the spine into alignment without muscular gripping. These are provided. Our wedge cushions have gotten good reviews from most students.

If you prefer to sit or lay on the floor,  posture supports are available but limited. Check in beforehand or bring your own yoga mat, cushion (zafu + zabuton, bolster), meditation bench, or whatever works for your body.   

There is a small step to enter the front door, and a small step to enter the bathroom. The warehouse bay door opens, which allows for wheelchair access via a small but steep ramp. Chair users will likely need an assist up and down the ramp, and this assistance is available. Text in advance if possible (502) 303-7259, beep car horn on arrival, or knock on the orange door.

Front door step: 8" 

Bathroom door step: 7"

COVID-19 POLICY

OMZL currently does not require masking or self-testing for regular practices. If you wish to mask within the zendo, that choice is affirmed and supported. The teacher will gladly mask on request for sitting and in one-on-one practice meetings.

OMZL READINGS

Here is a link to the OMZL vows and readings that may be used during practice. Here are the precepts OMZ students take as part of a formal rite of passage marking entrance into the Buddhist community. 


CONTACT

For more information, or an appointment for meditation/posture instruction, email omzlouisville@gmail.com or text (502) 303-7259. 

Sign up HERE for a weekly newsletter with the practice schedule, weekly theme, and info about upcoming events. http://eepurl.com/hY23Sn

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