• 63°

Zen teacher Elliston-Roshi brings exhibit, sessions to Oxford’s Powerhouse

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and to stay grounded. For some, Zen meditation is one way that they achieve balance.

This week, Atlanta-based Zen teacher Elliston-Roshi will have his artwork on display at the Powerhouse and will be leading a Zen based talk and “sitting” (or meditation) programs at the Oxford Soto Zendo in Taylor.

Kido Listenbee, who started the Zendo (“spiritual dojo”) and regularly has programs there, started a sitting group five or six years ago. She had to put it on hiatus to get more training, but is now back teaching. Her teacher is Elliston and she plans to continue training with him later this summer.

“(Zen sitting) is a way that starts your day that sets you up to not be thoroughly bent on what you’re trying to do,” Listenbee, a Calhoun County native, said. “It’s one thing to know about Buddhism, and a very different thing to practice it. You face the wall, concentrate at first on your breathing and eventually, it becomes that you’re not concentrating, you’re just being alive.”

Listenbee likened sitting to “brushing your teeth” in the morning, but instead of cleaning out your mouth, the intent is to clean your mind.

“You find yourself slowly becoming more available to be really present with whatever is happening,” she added.

Elliston-Roshi’s exhibit, “Music for the Eyes,” which features large abstract paintings, is inspired by his practice of Zen meditation. He has been involved with Zen since 1966 and is the founder and abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center.

Apart from his exhibit, Elliston will also be leading a half-day sitting from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, he will be speaking at the Oxford Unitarian-Universalist Congregation.

Oxford Soto Zendo is located at 14 County Road 3073 in Taylor. A full schedule of sittings and classes can be found at www.oxford-soto-zen.org.