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Close Your Eyes, Open Your Heart Look Inside Yourself and Understand Impermanence Stress Management Through Zen

Close Your Eyes, Open Your Heart Look Inside Yourself and Understand Impermanence Stress Management Through Zen

SanZen Zen Temple Meditation Experience

Making Zen More Accessible and More Global

Zazen, or seated meditation, is a form of Zen training that unifies the body and breathing.
With increasing awareness of mindfulness and wellbeing, and more people pursuing a lifestyle of physical health and mental peace, more foreign tourists and corporate visitors to Japan are seeking out Zen meditation experiences at temples. 
Despite the greater needs for such services, however, language barriers and various other issues have made it difficult for temples to cater to foreign clientele.
That’s where Kyoto Meditation Center stepped in as an intermediary between temples and foreign corporate and tourist clients.
Aiming to make zazen experiences more accessible, the center developed “SanZen” stress management solution based on Zen for foreigners, and began offering a zazen experience program as part of it.
The program was ultimately made possible because of Daisetz Sasaki’s overseas experience and fluency in English.

MICE Programs for a Major US Tech Company and University

Kyoto Meditation Center already has extensive experience implementing similar Zen meditation experiences for corporate training at temples in Kyoto. These have been received with much acclaim.
Their past record includes a “MICE Excursion” program at the International Council of Museums in Kyoto held in 2019 where the center hosted meditation and shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) experiences over two days for participants from across the world. The center has also conducted meditation workshops for the US headquarters of a major US tech company, an exchange program for American university students studying in Kyoto, and an art museum.
With this wealth of experience with corporate groups, Kyoto Meditation Center wanted to open its doors and make meditation more accessible to smaller groups and tourists as well.
The MICE/tourist-oriented experience program was implemented as a result.
In the last year the center has held a meditation experience and lecture about Kyoto’s history for 65 MBA students from Arizona State University.
It also works with a Kansai-based startup support organization to hold meditation experience tours, shojin ryori lunches and lectures about Kyoto’s history for groups of about 20 visiting Kyoto from venture capital funds in Asia, Europe and North America. Microsoft has also used Kyoto Meditation Center’s services as an early morning pre-conference activity.
Taking advantage of an initiative by the Japan Tourism Agency, in 2023 the center held a Zen temple guide training course for thirty tour guides working in Kyoto.
Through a combination of classroom instruction and on-site learning at a temple, the participants completed the course with the confidence to guide tours of Kyoto’s Zen temples.

Zazen Meditation, Shojin Cuisine and Cleaning—Experience the World of Zen

The experience program Kyoto Meditation Center is planning to offer, called “Stress Management Through Meditation,” consists of both instruction in and actual practice of zazen.
It can be arranged to further incorporate work activities that are part of actual Zen training such as sweeping temple gardens and cleaning floors.
Participants will learn techniques to overcome daily anxiety and control stress by focusing on meditation and work activities.
Sessions last between 1 and 3 hours depending on the activities included, and the program can be tailored to the preferences, needs and number of participants and number of days over which it will be held.
The center has also developed SanZen digital contents so participants can experience Zen anywhere, anytime in their home country.
Kyoto Meditation Center hopes to promote the benefits of Zen meditation to the world and serve as a coordinator to make Zen meditation more accessible for everyone.

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