Anchorage Zen Community seeks awareness sitting in silence
Zen Center in Anchorage is seeking to expand its community-based sitting practice.
For more than two decades, the Zen Center at The University of Alaska Anchorage has invited visitors to sit and meditate together in the Zen Center’s “sanctuary porch” at the foot of campus on Anchorage’s north side.
Sit and meditate in the Zen Center’s “sanctuary porch” at the foot of campus on Anchorage’s north side, then give your name and address so the Center can send you a postcard or letter.
Last week, Zen Center began a new initiative. At a special service called the “Sitting Out” service, 10 people sit in silence to become aware of one another, of the human experience, and of the nature of reality.
“I think this is a really unique opportunity to bring awareness to sitting in silence,” Zen Center Director of Community Engagement and Service Development Barbara Kofoid said.
The sitting-out format will be used throughout this year and next as the Center looks for ways to bring together a community of people in residence, some of whom are students and others who are not, Kofoid says.
“It’s designed to be a different service that we’ll hold in the spring and the fall,” Kofoid said.
Kofoid, the executive director of The Center for the Arts and Humanities, said she expects it will also be useful to those who live outside the city, who are in the midst of a difficult transition to retirement or another community, and perhaps even to people who are already retired.
“I think it’s an opportunity to bring focus to everyone in residence who is here, and to really focus around a time that’s appropriate for us,” she said.
The sitting-out service, which is free to attend, is intended to be an open conversation on the nature of reality, Kofoid said.
“It’s very open,” she said.
Sitting in silence involves simply sitting still and giving yourself to the moment, Kofoid said at the Sitting Out service in April.
“It’s about just not doing anything to make things happen, because everything happens because you’re paying