Z60: 2 months of daily meditation practice
February 27 - april 24.
Program has begun. To be notified of the next z60, check back or signup (bottom of this page).
Let's get serious about mediation.
Meditation can change your life in ways that few practices can. Your experience of time, which seems such a fleeting commodity, can be slowed. In that stillness the reactivity and conditioning that drives so much of your life can be seen for what it is, and you can find choice points in places where once there was only mindless thought, feeling, or contraction.
Along this path, you might discover the vast stillness at the very center of your being, so deep and unfathomable, and so very obvious, that you've been avoiding it your entire life. You might uncover your sacred heart, so huge and open that nothing and no one escapes its embrace.
But none of these things are the point.
Maybe you're familiar with ideas of Enlightenment and spiritual awakening, have meditated before, or read books on spirituality. Perhaps moving spiritual experiences have, on occasion, disrupted the story of you.
Our focus in Z60 is on creating and sustaining a meditation practice that isn't about spirituality. It's not about Enlightenment. It's not about attaining anything. It's not about anything you might experience. It's about the simplicity of sitting, and being with what is, day after day.
"Here to do nothing. Here to attain nothing. Here in this moment, and all it contains." - Suzuki Roshi
- Meditating for 40 continuous minutes a day, 6 days a week, using a Zen method of concentration meditation (called shikantaza, or single-minded sitting, which you will be taught).
- We'll sit on our own (not at the same time) according to your life's circumstances, and come together for weekly Zoom calls.
- Setting aside any other form of meditation for the 60 days of our practice.
- Showing up for Zoom calls, Tuesdays 6pm - 7pm MT, while the program runs.
- Getting support if you fall behind in your practice commitments.
- Agreeing to be open, honest, and vulnerable in your communications inside the group.
FIERCE, COMPASSIONATE, & (OCCASIONALLY HUMOROUS) SUPPORT
Over 8 weeks, we'll explore genuine insight through concentration meditation. We'll have weekly Zoom calls to check-in with each other, to say whether or not we are in integrity with our practice, ask questions about what has arisen in the previous week, and be held accountable.
The last time I led this my father ended up in the ICU, which meant after long days in the hospital, I would still find the 40 minutes to practice -- something that likely would not have happened without a container of support and accountability. And this, in turn, allowed me to show up for my family at a time when they most needed me.
This program offers a grounded and practical take on Enlightenment, emotional maturity, and the integration required to take one’s seat in liberation. And it all starts by sitting down, staying still, and shutting up.
"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things." - Dōgen Zenji
Registration is now closed.
Week 1: Tuesday, February 27 (mandatory)
- Context and container
- Rinzai-style meditation: how to practice
- Taking a radical agnostic view for the next 8 weeks
Week 2: Understanding the Territory
- Kensho vs. Samadhi (or awakening experiences versus awakening)
- Relating to ego on the path
- Why this isn't a spiritual practice. Or a secular practice.
- Views of Enlightenment
Week 3: Deepening Context, Deepening Practice
- Deepening concentration practice
- Common hurdles and their resolution
Week 4: Emotions on the Path
- The truth of anger and shame, depression and anxiety, and other destructive emotions
- How to contact and be with emotions in your sitting practice
- How emotional angst can become liberation
- Why spiritual practice embraces rather than runs from or denies intense emotions
Week 5: Choice in Emotional Reactivity
- Why shadow work matters
- Working within the box of ego
- Waking up outside of the box of ego
- Doing shadow work in service of insight instead of service of ego
Week 6: Integrating Insight and Emotion
- Integrating spiritual insight with emotional maturity
- Giving up the victim role in your life
- Acting from your deepest care and compassion
- Radical choice = radical freedom
- Claiming your view, taking your seat
Week 7: Traps on the Path
- Sustaining practice in the mess and mire of life
- Why insight fades
- Deepening your personal koan
- Uncovering and acting from choice, compassion, and care
Week 8: Closing
- Closing Q & A
Former participants' words
"Do it to soften into who you really are, to learn, to enjoy, and to grow. It allowed me to deepen my practice while seeing such more more of myself and my own patterning. It was hugely valuable!" Joel Longtine
"Whatever reasons you have for not coming are the same exact reasons for coming. I was able to develop an daily sit, moving into my hardest emotions instead of away from them, which I thought meditation was 'really' about. I'm calmer and more centered, and have a greater understanding of how my emotions play into my practice." Robert Bogatin
"The money was a commitment, but more than worth it, and it was very reasonably priced. You feel welcomed by Keith/Kogen, and can be vulnerable with him and with this container. I learned to bring a sense of being 'okay' into the midst of everything and anything in my life." Marissa McKenzie Grasmick
"This program is designed for people who would like to build a foundation for their meditation practice, especially people who don't think they have the time to sit. I've learned to slow everything down, and appreciate how I can choose to respond to situations, rather than reacting." Jon Brandon
"I have a much greater capacity to welcome a variety of experiences throughout my life, and the confidence to continue a sitting practice. This is the real deal. It gets it done. Quit fucking around and sign up." Josh Zemel
"I now have regular meditation practice. The program was life-changing." Ali Shanti
"This program is hard, but you should give it a chance. It's absolutely worthwhile. I gained an increased sense off stability in life, an expanded capacity to feel, and more willingness to be with the great mystery of existence. Oh, and Keith/Kogen is reliable, kind-hearted, and supportive." Natasha Terry
Keith Martin-Smith is an award-winning author, Zen priest and sensei, and Northern Kung Fu lineage holder. He is passionate about human connection, creativity, and evolution. He is also fond of ales and of sleeping in.