The Trinity Zen Group is a weekly Zen Buddhist sitting group co-sponsored by the New Haven Zen Center and the Trinity College Office of Spiritual and Religious Life. People of all faiths – and no faith – are invited to learn and practice a centuries-old form of meditation that is both simple and profound.
Normally, the group meets in the Crypt Chapel of the Trinity College Chapel at 7:00 p.m. each Monday evening (6:30 orientation for newcomers) during the academic year – except during weeks of major holidays. Individuals from outside the Trinity College community are welcome.
The Crypt Chapel can be found by entering the west (front) door of the main chapel, walking up the main aisle, turning right and going under the gate, and proceeding down the stairs.
However, during the pandemic, the Trinity Zen Group meets via Zoom on Monday evenings at 6:50 p.m. for instructions and to handle any technical issues that may arise. Chanting begins at 7:00 p.m., with meditation starting at around 7:20 p.m. Dharma talk and reading are followed by discussion.
The Trinity Zen Group offers one-on-one virtual meditation instruction via Zoom to students, faculty, staff, and community members. To arrange for an instruction session, please contact Garret Condon, associate chaplain for Buddhist life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Zen?
“Zen is very simple… What are you?
In this whole world everyone searches for happiness outside, but nobody understands their true self inside. Everybody says, “I” — “I want this, I am like that…” But nobody understands this “I.” Before you were born, where did your I come from? When you die, where will your I go? If you sincerely ask, “what am I?” sooner or later you will run into a wall where all thinking is cut off. We call this “don’t know.”
Zen is keeping this “don’t know” mind always and everywhere. When walking, standing, sitting, lying down, speaking, being silent, moving, being still. At all times, in all places, without interruption — what is this? One mind is infinite kalpas.
Meditation in Zen means keeping don’t-know mind when bowing, chanting and sitting Zen. This is formal Zen practice. And when doing something, just do it. When driving, just drive; when eating, just eat; when working, just work.
Finally, your don’t-know mind will become clear. Then you can see the sky, only blue. You can see the tree, only green. Your mind is like a clear mirror. Red comes, the mirror is red; white comes, the mirror is white. A hungry person comes, you can give him food; a thirsty person comes, you can give her something to drink. There is no desire for myself, only for all beings. That mind is already enlightenment, what we call Great Love, Great Compassion, the Great Bodhisattva Way. It’s very simple, not difficult!
So Buddha said that all beings have Buddha-nature (enlightenment nature). But Zen Master Joju said that a dog has no Buddha-nature. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? If you find that, you find the true way.”
— Zen Master Seung Sahn