In IZI centers and groups so called ekayana Zen is practised, based on the teachings of Buddhism. Insight into the nature of the self and its manifestation in everyday life forms the center of this kind of practice. Considering Zen we like to quote Prabhasa Dharma, Zenji: "Zen means to realize that you are constantly one in that which has not yet become a thought or concept."

Zen can be practised in different ways. It can be mainly aimed at physical and mental health without giving insight into the essence of existence and the nature of the self.
Other forms of Zen practice take instead of Buddhism other philosophies or forms of religion as a frame of reference.

We practise Zen in such a way that intuitive wisdom and compassion, so called prajna and karuna, can develop hand in hand. We aim at making Zen practice as accessible as possible; at the same time we keep up many forms and Zen rituals of the Zen Buddhist tradition. Besides that, in many of the outer forms our Japanese-Vietnamese background shines through.

The International Zen Institute offers a variety of Zen practice programs for both beginning and advanced practitioners. We practice in different countries, cultures and with the guidance of different teachers and meditation leaders. To give you an idea of our practice, we will describe the program of our main center, the International Zen Center Noorder Poort.

Training period
Training periods offer a unique opportunity for intensive Zen practice. Of course, it is possible to participate in just a part of a period. Yet, Jiun, Roshi strongly recommends to sometimes practice a longer period of time intensively.

Sesshin are the traditional Zen retreats during which we meditate intensively in strict silence. Zazen (sitting meditation) and kinhin (walking meditation) are the basic practices. Jiun Hogen Roshi gives a teisho or Dharma talk. In all sesshin individual guidance is offered for the meditation practice and specifically for koan practice. Meditation with a koan is a typical practice of the Linchi (Rinzai) Zen school. Jiun Hogen Roshi is a Zen master in the Linchi tradition and is authorized to guide koan practice. Below you will find links to examples of the different sesshin schedules.

In the 5-days' go-sesshin (go = five) we practice several breathing meditations and we learn to deal with thoughts, feelings, emotions and pain. In order to meditate with koans we learn to develop energy (ki) and to direct our attention at one point. An alert and clear mind enables us to be in the here and now and to perceive the things as they are.
Schedule of a go-sesshin.

In the 7 days' dai-sesshin (dai = great) the daily practice schedule is totally directed at koan meditation and the realization of our True Self. All practices, recitations, rituals come together in this sesshin; everything is used to develop an alert and fully conscious mind. The meals are served in oryoki style with Japanese eating bowls.
Schedule of a dai-sesshin.

The kokoro-sesshin (kokoro = heart) is meant for experienced zen practitioners who, for whatever reason, prefer to participate in a less structured and yet full-fledged sesshin. The breaks are longer than in a regular sesshin and there are more possibilities for a personal filling-in. Previous participation in a dai-sesshin or go-sesshin is a prerequisite to participate in a kokoro-sesshin.
Schedule of a kokoro-sesshin.

The Rohatsu-sesshin is a very intensive dai-sesshin and is offered to experienced practitioners around december 8, Buddha's enlightenment day.
Schedule of rohatsu.

New Years sesshin
A sesshin that is centered around 'leaving no traces'. We enter the new year in zazen with 108 gongstrokes.

Daily life sesshin
These sesshin are an important element of the training periods. Only the work period in the afternoon is not in silence. In the early morning, in the afternoon and in the evening there are meditation periods. Private interviews with the teacher about the zen practice are part of the program.
Schedule of a daily life sesshin.

Family Zen Retreat
This is a Zen program for the whole family, parents as well as children. Drawing from many years of experience as a Zen teacher, mother, mediator and educator, Jishin Osho guides these days. We practice, work, play and talk around a Zen-Buddhist theme.

Zen Weekend
A Zen weekend offers a good opportunity to become silent and deepen our meditation. We practice mindfully together in silence in order to see what is right now. The teacher gives a Dharma talk and private interviews.
Schedule of zen weekend.

Introduction Weekend
A weekend for those who are new to Zen and for those who want to intensify their practice in surroundings inviting silence and awareness. Most of the weekend we practice in silence, but at both days a dharma talk is given and there is ample opportunity for questions and answers.
Starts at 18:00 on Friday and ends at 16:00 on Sunday.

Study Weekend
In this weekend the teacher will help the participants to investigate some subject related to zen practice. Participants will receive a text beforehand. The emphasis, however, is not on academic study of the text but on the living experience of the participants.
Starts at 18:00 on Friday and ends at 16:00 on Sunday.

Walking retreat
Three days of meditation in action in the beautiful nature around Noorder Poort. In the morning and evening, we practice in the zendo. During the day, we practice while walking. The walks are in silence and are not demanding (but please bring rain gear and watertight walking shoes).
Starts at 18:00 on the first day and ends after lunch on the last.

Work Practice Days
During these days we meditate several times a day. During the day we work on projects in and around the house and you may experience how meditation and work are related to each other. At the same time this is a wonderful opportunity to give your services to the center.

Zen Course
The weekly classes are meant to encourage meditation and deepen our practice. Please, contact our office for the exact dates and cost.

Guest Resident Program
On days that there is no retreat it is possible to participate in the daily practice and work at Noorder Poort, as a guest resident. This is a nice way to get to know the center and its residents.

Zen Groups
Those who want to start with Zen can contact our Zen center Noorder Poort or one of our Zen teachers or groups.

The agenda of the Noorder Poort.
A survey of local zen groups.