Meditation is practiced in small Meditation Circles called Mitsuzenkai, meaning “gathering for Shingon meditation.” An English speaking Mitsuzenkai was established in Brussel. We come together twice a month and under the guidance of Shaku Jinsen, the basic features of meditation are explained and practiced. After each meditation some time is spent discussing Buddhist teachings or answering questions.
The meditation practice starts with learning the correct body posture and the basic practice of susokukan, or counting the breathing in order to calm the mind. After this we slowly move towards the practice of gachirinkan, visualizing the mind as a beautiful round full moon. During meditation the practitioner remains silently seated without moving or talking. Before and after the meditation practice we make prostrations and recite Buddhist prayers.
Mitsuzenkai meditation circles are open to all. You do not need to become a member of Yō E An to participate, or become a Buddhist. Practitioners of other denominations or other religious traditions are welcome. We come together all year round, except during summer holidays.
The meditation gatherings depend on the donations of the practitioners. The donations are entirely free, so there is no fixed amount. The donations are not considered as a payment for services provided by a meditation master, but as an act of gratitude towards the whole of the Buddhist tradition. Should you for some reason not be able to donate, then you are welcome all the same.
If you choose the path of Buddhist meditation you should be aware however that some degree of practice is required if you want to make progress. Without some form of personal commitment there will be little progress on any spiritual path. The meditation circles are designed to open up the correct way of practice and encourage each other along this path. In order to deepen this knowledge, personal practice at home is warmly recommended.
From time to time we come together with all the different meditation groups to form a Big Circle-meeting. A whole day or possibly week-end is spent in practice of meditation and study of Buddhist thought. It gives you a chance of meeting up with your fellow-practitioners, and deepen your knowledge of the Shingon Buddhist tradition. These are usually held in Flemish, but English translation is provided.