Welcome to the Zen Centre Website

The Zen Centre was founded by Christmas Humphreys and has two training temples: Shobo-an in London and Fairlight in Luton. This website gives information about us and about our activities.

We provide a glimpse into the nature of walking the Buddha's Way in the Rinzai Zen school. For those with an aspiration to walk this way, introductory classes, reading materials and contact points are provided.

Shobo-an, our Zen training temple in London

The Buddha’s Way offers the possibility of a profound shift in how we see the world and experience and live our lives. The Buddha taught that we should not take his teachings as true because they are said to be true by the wise. We should try them out for ourselves; and if they bring joy and peace of heart, then we can choose to follow them.

This teaching is recorded in the Kalama Sutra. The Kalama people questioned the Buddha because they were uncertain about who to believe of the many teachers who came to them expressing their own doctrines. The Buddha replied, 'It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration "The monk is our teacher." Kalamas, when you yourselves know "These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill", abandon them.'

As in the Buddha's time, we need to carefully apply the threefold wisdom of sruta, listening with the ear; cinta, pondering in the heart; and bhavana, practising in the body, in seeking out a spiritual path. Once we have selected one we feel we can put our trust in, we are encouraged to follow it wholeheartedly, with singleness of purpose.


© The Zen Centre 2015
All rights reserved