November 21, 2014

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The Central Coast Zen Centre celebrates its three year anniversary

Fa Zhao Shakya T
he Central Coast Zen Centre is in Davistown NSW, Australia has been operating for about 3 years under the guidance of Fa Zhao Shakya. With about 18 regular participants, they sit regularly 5 times a week, with Wednesday evening dedicated to a full service of Zazen, Kinhin, Tea and Teisho, in the Japanese tradition.

They just celebrated both the opening of the new Davistown zendo and "Rohatsu" which attracted about 40 people, and held a vegetarian fest with chanting, Zazen and social activities. Sangha members volunteered their time and efforts to make the event remarkable. Auspiciously, it was held on the 11th of November 2011 (11/11/11) which was unintentional.

In addition to heading the Central Coast Zen Centre, Fa Zhao also currently works part time for the NSW Buddhist Council Australia, which is a member of The Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils. His main role is to assist Chaplains with their daily activities in Hospitals, Hospices, Prisons and Mental Health Centres, etc. He also helps co-ordinate their activities as they relate to funding schedules from State and Commonwealth sources.

The Council has also retained Fa Zhao's services as a co-writer to create a formal training course specifically for Buddhist Chaplains. Fa Zhao comments, "The idea is to 'Buddhist up' the existing Christian-based training course and map it to Competency-Based training principles. I'm fortunate to be compiling this training with a personal Zen friend who regularly attends a Sydney-based Zen group."

And if he is not already busy enough with these activities, he is also an active member of the Buddhist Recovery Network (BRN) as an adjunct to the Chaplaincy work. The BRN is a vital support to many Buddhists who are in recovery from various addictions and obsessions.

The following photos of the Central Coast Zen Centre have been provided courtesy of Fa Zhao Shakya.