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A PATH THAT BRIDGES TWO SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS
The East-West Meditation program at Mercy Center was founded in 1984 by Fr. Thomas Hand, S.J. For nearly 30 years, Fr. Hand had lived in Japan, where he led retreats, taught haiku poetry, and studied Zen meditation with Yamada Koun Roshi. Yamada Roshi, a teacher in the Sanbô-Kyôdan Zen lineage, encouraged his Western students to learn Zen practice as a way of deepening their Judeo-Christian faith. The East-West community honors the traditions of Christian contemplation and Zen meditation. Practicing meditation together leads us to a deeper way of seeing Reality and a richer life.
In 2005, the community welcomed a new resident teacher, Fr. Gregory Mayers, C.Ss.R., a Redemptorist priest. Fr. Greg began Zen koan studies in the late 1970s and completed them in 1996. He is an Associate Roshi of the Sanbô-Kyôdan Religious Foundation in Kamakura, Japan. He was given the teaching name of Ryûun-ken (Flowing Cloud) by Yamada Ryôun Roshi, the 4th Abbot of Sanbô-Kyôdan.
On November 11, 2010 Fr. Greg received full transmission as an Authentic Zen Master with the honorific title of Roshi from his teacher, Willigis Jaeger, who is the founder of the Empty Cloud Zen Lineage at Benediktushof, Holtzkirchen, Germany. He is the 46th successor to Master Lin Chin and has been teaching both Zen and Christian Mystical prayer in retreats around the United States.
Fr. Greg is the author of Listen to the Desert: The Secrets of Spiritual Maturity in the Desert Fathers and Mothers. He directs the East-West Meditation Program at Mercy Center and is its resident teacher.
On most Wednesday evenings from 7:00–9:00 pm, and during his meditation retreats and zen sesshins, Fr. Greg leads the community in sitting meditation, offering visitors and long-time meditators a welcoming space in which to explore the spiritual path. In addition to our Wednesday evening sittings, the community gathers for Center Day, four hours of sitting and walking meditation, interviews with Fr. Greg, Eucharist and lunch.
2014 EAST-WEST RETREATS
Special 10-Day Zen Sesshin June 15 - 24
Summer Silent Meditation August 17 - 22
Fall 5-Day Zen Sesshin November 2 - 7
HAIKU POETRY GROUP
The Four Seasons Haiku Kai was founded by Fr. Thomas Hand. Our group meets four times each year to share and learn about haiku poetry. Everyone who is interested in this fun and meditative approach to writing poetry is welcome to participate. Visit the Haiku Kai page to learn more.
AUDIO, VIDEO AND ARTICLES
FR. GREGORY MAYERS, C.Ss.R.
FR. THOMAS HAND, S.J.