Sunday Service Cancelled on April 13, 2014  (See Off-Site Talks)



Zen Buddhism is non-theistic, so its emphasis is on realizing our Buddha Nature, the nature of the self.  Therefore, all of Zen's rituals point to the oneness of the self and the ten thousand things.  Zen liturgy is upaya,- skillful means.  Like meditation and all the areas of zen training, it functions as a way of uncovering the truth which is the life of each one of us.

Sunday Services begin at 10 a.m.  

Please arrive early enough to allow for parking and settling in to sit, as the short meditation begins at 10:00 a.m. sharp

NOTE:  Sunday service is cancelled on April 13.


April 6:  SILENCE


    Everyone is welcome.  (Registration is not required)


    Wear loose, clean clothing, something that is comfortable and allows you to stretch. Sweat pants and shirt are fine. Avoid bright colours. Shirts with logos and writing can be distracting to a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Warm socks are a good idea in the winter, as you will be asked to remove your shoes at the door. Perfume and jewellery are not worn in the meditation room.


    Recitation of the 5 Precepts and Bodhisattva Precepts will take place on the Thursday closest to the Full Moon, before Members' Sitting, unless otherwise noted. If you have taken Refuge and the 5 Precepts, in any tradition, please join us on the following dates.

    January 16
    February 13
    March 13
    April 17
    Sunday, May 18 (During Wesak Ceremony)
    June 12
    July 10
    August 7
    September 11
    October 9
    November 6
    December 4




    January 23
    February 27
    March 27
    May 1 & 29
    June 26
    July 24
                                        July 31
                                      August 28
                                      September 25
                                       October 23
                                      November 20
                                       December 18

    Thursday evenings at 7 p.m.

    Experienced meditators are welcome to attend.

    Please confirm attendance 24 hours in advance.


    Registration is required for all programmes, except Sunday morning sesshins. Please email to the address indicated in the programme outline on this site, with the following information.

    1. Register by clicking on Contact button in red strip at bottom of screen. (one registration per Contact).
    2. Full Name (Dharma name if you have taken Refuge)
    3. Address, including postal code
    4. Day & Evening telephone numbers
    5. Email address
    6. The programme in which you are interested, including dates.

    Space is limited ... register early! Registrations must be received no later than 5 days before the intended programme.

    Your registration will be confirmed by email.


    *Dana, or generosity, is a lovely tradition in Buddhism that allows students the chance to convey their appreciation for Buddhist teachings by assisting the Sangha. A gift of Dana comes from our heart and is suitable to the circumstances. Each gift is valued and every practitioner appreciated.

    Your Dana help a lot. All Dana is suggested only. There is no wish to deprive anyone of the opportunity to attend a workshop or other sessions because of financial inability.  Place Dana in an envelope and hand it directly to the teacher. 


    Beginners or those wishing to re-establish their meditation practice are able to learn the basics of meditation by attending our Introductory Meditation Class. The class is two hours long and held at 7 p.m. This is a one time class, being offered on various dates.  The next class will be held:

    Friday, April 25
    7:00 p.m.

    To register, click "contact us" at bottom of page, by April 22.

    Suggested Dana: $20


    Friday, March 14 - 6:30 p.m.

    Four times a year, around the time of the 

    solstice/equinox,members and friends gather 

    together to reconnect, socialize, and share a vegetarian meal.  

    This time it is the annual Spring Sangha Day Vegetarian Potluck. 

    Everybody is welcome. 

    Space is limited:  RSVP is required by Monday, March 10. 

    Telephone Quang Vien 



    Please remember to bring your own cutlery, cup, bowl, and plate 
    copies of recipe for what you bring to share.

    Mark your Calendars!!!
    Summer Sangha BBQ Day:  June 20 (Rain Date June 22 - Noon)
    Fall Sangha Day:  September 19
    Winter Sangha Day:  December 19


    5 Wednesdays
    April 16 to May 14, 2014

    Open to those who have taken Power of Awareness - Part 1

    We will continue with the practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, placing close attention on the practice Equanimity, Loving-Kindness, Compassion, and Joy.  Learning ways to transform suffering and how to continue the practice, will round out the complete course, the Power of Awareness.

    Attend all or some of the classes.  Those who attend all of the classes will get a certificate at the end of the course.

    Suggested Dana: $20/week

    To register for complete Course, "contact us" by scrolling down to the bottom of screen, by April 11, 2014.  Or, email:


    Quest Gathering
    April 13, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m.
    Westdale United Church
    Guest Speaker:  Thich nu Tinh Quang



    The Dharma Teacher Training Programme is an opportunity to deepen your commitment to your practice and your vow to help others.  You will be encouraged to widen your focus from being largely a questioner and receiver, to being able to guide, inspire and teach others.  During this training period your relationship to your teacher and Centre will have the opportunity to mature.


    You have taken the Five Precepts.  If you took the Five Precepts in another tradition, before taking the Dharma Teacher Training Programme, you must retake the precepts in the Little Heron Zen Hermitage.  Precepts will be given in May, 2014.

    Contact Su co Tinh Quang for an information package.



    Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Seng-ts'an

    The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
    When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
    Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
    If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
    To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
    When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
    The Way is perfect like vast space when nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
    Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
    Live neither in the entanglements of outer things nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
    Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
    When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.
    As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.
    Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
    To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
    The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
    Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
    To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
    At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
    The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.
    Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
    Do not remain in the dualistic state -- avoid such pursuits carefully.
    If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
    Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
    When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when such a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
    When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
    When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
    Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
    Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
    In this emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.
    If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
    To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited; even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
    Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.
    Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
    When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
    What benefits can be derived from distinctions and separations?
    If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
    Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true Enlightenment.
    The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.
    There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
    To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
    Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
    All dualities come from ignorant inference.
    They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
    Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
    If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
    If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
    To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
    When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached.
    No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
    Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear.
    When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
    To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.
    For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases.
    Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.
    With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
    All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
    Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
    In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
    To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
    In this 'not two' nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.
    No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
    And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
    Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
    Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.
    So too with Being and Non-Being.
    Don't waste time with doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.
    One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction.
    To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
    To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with trusting mind.
    The Way is beyond language, for in it there is
    no yesterday,
    no tomorrow,
    no today.



    Enjoy the video on the 10 Ox Herding Pictures.  This is a classic Zen explanation of our journey.



    The Little Heron Zen Hermitage offers a unique collection of books to borrow, all intended to support the study and practice of Buddhism in its many forms and traditions.

    The Library is available to practitioners who can borrow the books for a three week period, with an option to renew.

    See Thich nu Tinh Quang after meditation, if you would like to borrow a book, or call to make an appointment for another time.




    TET - NEW YEAR'S EVE - JANUARY 30, 2014

    In celebration of the Year of the Horse, or (Tet/Chinese New Year) on January 30, 2014), a new tradition has arisen at our Centre to celebrate it in a very Western way.  

    Members and friends
     are invited to join us for a vegetarian dinner at
    Harvest Moon Restaurant (James St. N. @ Wilson St.)
    at 8:00 p.m.  
    After dinner, we will all leave for Chua Huong Dam Temple 
    for New Year's chanting and celebrating.

    IMPORTANT - RSVP:  905-575-5976 with name and phone number,
    no later than January 12.



    Unless otherwise noted, all teachings and meditation are held at

    74 Alpine Avenue
    Hamilton, Ontario

    North of Concession Street, between Upper Wentworth and Belwood Avenue. 
    Look for the black door and Phu Dogs.  Parking on the street.


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