International Member of the EBU
Western Chan Fellowship
The Western Chan Fellowship is an association of lay Chan practitioners. We are registered as a charity in England and Wales, but are also active in Norway and Poland, and we also have contacts in the USA. Our Zen retreats and other activities are open equally to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.
We lead intensive meditation retreats at our main retreat centre in Wales, and also at other meditation centres in England and Scotland. We also have facilities for solitary retreats. We have a range of different types of Buddhist retreats.
Some of our Zen meditation retreats follow closely the traditional methods of teaching and practice, and others such as our 'Western Zen Retreat' include adaptations to match the needs of Westerners. We also use some Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices such as Mahamudra. Most of our retreats are silent retreats - read the retreat descriptions for details.
Zen Meditation Groups
There are Chan meditation groups meeting at various locations across the UK. Attending a local zen sangha may be an easy way to make a first contact with meditation and the WCF, or it may be that you are an experienced practitioner looking for a Zen community to support your own practice and the cultivation of mindfulness in daily life.
Our Patron was the late Chan Master Sheng-yen of Dharma Drum Mountain in Taiwan, and our founding Teacher was his first Western Dharma Heir, the late Dr John Crook. The current Teacher is Dr Simon Child, Chuan-fa Jing-hong, 2nd lay Dharma Heir of Chan Master Sheng-yen.
Following Chan Master Sheng-yen our practice includes the methods of the lineages of both Linji Chan (Japanese: Rinzai Zen) and Caodong Chan (Japanese: Soto Zen). Hence we practice a range of methods of Buddhist meditation e.g. Gongan (Japanese: Koan), Huatou, Silent Illumination (Ch. Mozhao, related to Jap. Shikantaza), and other methods such as use of the breath.