Saturday, January 19th, 2 to 4pm.

Led by Anne McLaughlin, teacher, artist and member of Open Mind Zen. This session offers a rare opportunity to immerse ourselves in meditation and the creative process. This is an alternative practice path, a method of making visible what is often invisible, inviting participants to intuit the essence of the koan by tapping into the creative, nonjudgmental self – Buddha nature – the innate
ability to sense meaning beyond what words alone can convey. Often the results of our practice are difficult to point to. In this case, we will walk away with pieces of art to live with and contemplate well into the future. (An example is shown in the photo below.)

The session begins with a silent meditation, after which we will explore possible meanings of this highly contemporary, 17th century Chinese koan, published in “The Hidden Lamp.”  

Qiyuan Gives Birth 

Master Shichi asked his student, the nun Qiyuan Xinggang,
“Buddha nature is not illusory. What was it like when you were nourishing the spiritual embryo?”
“It felt congealed, deep, and solitary,” Qiyuan replied.
“When you gave birth to the embryo, what was it like?”
“It was like being completely stripped bare.”
“When you met with the Buddha, what was it like?”
“I took advantage of the opportunity to meet him face-to-face.”
“Good! Good! You will be a model for those in the future.”


Participants will express their response to this koan using two- and three-dimensional collage materials provided by Open Mind Zen; including a foundation board, glue, paper, graphics and words related to the koan, and assorted 3-dimensional objects. Students are welcome to bring personal images or “found” objects to use in addition to materials provided.


Please pre-register – class is limited to 12 participants.

Suggested donation: $15 for OMZ members; $20 non-members.  To register, visit the link below and pay the appropriate amount with the one-time donation button.