Tuesday
Apr242018

Zen This Week: Outdoor Sittin' Saturday (4/28) at Edwin Warner Park

Tuesday Night @ 7pm || Two Rounds of Sitting plus One Talk.
The talk? I'm going back to basics this week with the Granddaddy of Soto Zen, Dogen, and his take on how to sit and why we sit. For those of my fellow book nerds playing at home, I'm talking to tonight about the Fukanzazengi. Come out and see us. I'll actually have sweets this time, I swear.
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Saturday Morning @ 7am to noon || OUTDOOR SIT AT EDWIN WARNER PARK!
The outdoor sittin' is simply the best!
Come join us for another outdoor sit starting at 7am on this Saturday (4/28) at Shelter 7 in Edwin Warner Park! Again, we'll be sitting at Shelter 7 (write that down kids, there are *alot* of shelters out there). Here are google directions from downtown (just plug your address in to the first address field and it will take you *straight* to the shelter
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You can also email info@nashvillezencenter.org for directions if that's more your speed. On the day of, if you get lost, just message Steph Elder on Facebook. I'll have my phone by my side and I'll can direct you on your way in.
Wear removable layers! The weather report says it's supposed to be 66F but it's been mistaken recently. It's Tennessee! Be prepared for any clime! Hot and cold alike!
Remember: We won't be sitting on Gallatin. We are packing off the Great Wild Wonder of this fantastic municipal park!
We start sitting at 7am have the place booked until 3pm. We continue sitting for as long as we have bodhisattvas wanting to sit. 
Come out and enjoy the rentless and unstoppable majesty of nature with your fellow zanny zennies! Yes, we will have coffee and something to eat.
~ Steph
Tuesday
Apr032018

New Weekly Schedule is in Effect! Plus Saturday Morning Coffee and an update on the Spring Ret

Hey Gang,

As I mentioned last month, we are moving to a new weekly rotation schedule starting *now*. Here’s what it looks like.

  •  1st Saturday of the Month: Coffee at Sip Cafe after the morning sit and Heart Sutra Service (it's just two minutes from the zendo!)
  • 2nd and 4th Saturday of the Month we are bring back the book study after the morning sit (woo!)
  • 3rd Tuesday and 3rd Saturday we will be offering one-on-one practice discussions during the sit.

All of these changes have been updated on the site and on our Google Calendar. I’m very much excited about the new weekly schedule! I think it will give a bit of depth to our group sitting practice. Plus, variety is the spice of life, you know?

Oh, I found us a place for our Spring Retreat on Memorial Day Weekend. Yellowbird Artscape Check them out. It has a dedicated meditation space, lodging, beautiful nature settings and is 45 minutes from Nashville. I spoke to the proprietor and he is thrilled to host us. I should be going on a scouting mission this week to get more specs so more on this story as it develops.

 But as to what happening right now:

We have Newcomer’s Night tonight.

We are going to get coffee at Sip café after the sit this Saturday (per the new schedule).

We’ll have an outdoor sit in Edwin Warner Park on the last Saturday of the month (4/28).

Stay tuned for all the details.

 *Deep Bows*
~ Steph

Saturday
Mar172018

NZC in 2018

My Dear Sangha,

We had a board meeting and banged out what we would like to see happen in the next year. Like most things in Zen, these things are aspirational; goals we are striving towards but not absolutes. To get overly attached is to miss the point. And the point is to support one another in practice. Bearing in mind the only thing we are totally inflexible about is our flexibility, here's what we'd like see happen in 2018.
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We won't be having the Spring retreat on Easter this year (we'll be coloring Easter eggs with the fam). But we hope to have a retreat on Memorial Day weekend.  It will have to be in a different location than Penuel Ridge. I have some possible candidates. But if you, my kind and resourceful sangha, know of place we can sit, sleep, and eat at for a weekend within an hour's drive of Nashville, please send that info my way (stephanie.m.elder@gmail.com).

One thing will definitely will be doing more of is outdoor Saturday sits. It adds some variety to practice and plus it's darn pretty. Our usual spot is a beautiful and somewhat secluded shelter that we rent out at a Edwin Warner Park.  We are shooting for our first outdoor sit in late April and if that goes off well, we'll have outdoor sits every two or three months or so.

We are also looking at doing some indoor all-day sits at the clubhouse on Sawyer Brown Rd. All-day sits are like a mini-retreat that nearly everyone can manage. Most everyone can take at least one day to get a small break from life. And we figure, once and awhile, everyone should. We'd start in the morning on Saturday, break for lunch, and sit until mid-afternoon. We are shooting for the first one in June, if that works out well, we'll do one every couple of months or so too.

You know our buddies in the Memphis Zen Community? Well, they have a rotating weekly schedule. And because the folks of MZC are awesome, and imitation is the highest form of flattery, we are stealing their excellent idea!

1st Tuesday: Intro to Zen
1st Saturday: Just Sitting and Heart Sutra
2nd Tuesday: Just Sitting and Dharma Discussion
2nd Saturday: Book Study
3rd Tuesday: Practice Discussion
3rd Saturday: Practice Discussion
4th Tuesday: Just Sitting and Dharma Discussion
4th Saturday: Book Study

So here's a couple of things about the rotating schedule. Because Abhilash is brilliant and the best, he's devised a way we can do the Intro to Zen class which gives a good detailed orientation to newcomers without disturbing the flow of an normal Tuesday night sit. So the only difference you'll see on a Intro to Zen night is that one of us will be giving orientations in the side room during the sit and the discussion will focus on how to maintain a practice (which, let's be real, is the subject of most of our discussions anyway).

We missed the book study! So we are bring it back! Same days and times it used to be on before the big move. On the second and fourth Saturday of the month after sitting, we will working our way through Old Path, White Clouds.

New Item: Practice Discussion on every third Tuesday and Saturday of the month. What do we mean by practice discussion? During the sits, one of the practice leaders will be off in a sideroom and you can have a private discussion about how your practice is going. We know from experience that it can be helpful to hash it out, one-on-one, with someone who's been there.

The next rotating schedule goes into effect in April. And I'll be updating the info on the site to correspond with the changes.
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That's it really. And aren't you glad? I've blabbed on too long.

Remember to check the site, the Facebook, and sign up for the email. That's the way to know for sure when these things are going down.

And shoot us an email at anytime.  We welcome feedback, questions, concerns and suggestions: info@nashvillezencenter.org

Thanks for sticking with us through all the changes last year.
We look forward to sitting with you through new and interesting times. You are the pluckiest sangha this side of the Cumberland Plateau.

And most of all, we appreciate your practice.

Steph Elder

Somehow Still President of Nashville Zen Center

Tuesday
Feb062018

Newcomer's Night Tonight! 

Don't forget guys, it's the first Tuesday of the month which makes tonight Newcomer's Night.

Wanna learn zen meditation? Wanna polish up your current practice? Wanna hear why trying to perfect practice is like trying to polish title hoping it will turn into a mirror?

Well, you are in luck! Drop by tonight at 7pm and get a brief overview Zen Buddhism and solid sitting meditation instruction. Plus cookies, tea, and jokes. That always comes free with the sit.

It's $10 for the class if you can. Ok if you can't. Wear whatever you are comfortable in.

We can't wait to meet you!

And we appreciate your practice!

~ Steph

Tuesday
Jan232018

Zen this Week: Is this Banana yellow? & Café Coco Saturday

Tuesday Night at 7 || 2 Rounds of Sitting and one talk.
Tonight I'll be asking y'all a question. Is this banana yellow? What is yellow? Are colors even an actual *thing*? This may seem like a stupid question but I assure you it has bearing in Zen (as do all seemingly stupid questions).
Come tonight and let’s throw shade on shade!
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No sitting this Saturday (1/27)! Our Beloved Sister Sangha, Against the Stream, is hosting the Southeastern Refuge Recovery Conference.
So instead… Wanna get some coffee?
If so, hit up Café Coco this Saturday around 8am. We’ll chat, have a few laughs, and if enough people are willing, we can start back up the book study!
The address is 
210 Louise Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
If you’ve never been to Coco, you should totally go. Coffee, breakfast, pasta, available 24 hours a day. How can you beat it?
I’ll be in the back room until noon just itching to see you.
We appreciate your practice, everybody 
🙏~Steph