A Small Boat on a Vast Ocean
Flowing Bridge Zen Sangha
A Zen Meditation Group in Ottawa, Canada
The practice of Zen offers something simple, direct and accessible to anyone seeking stillness and peace of mind in this busy, frantic world. When we seek and find this peace for ourselves, we then have what it takes to offer it to those around us. The whole of Zen discipline is to make us come alive to the present. When we are sitting, we concentrate on our breathing. Away from our cushion, we are one with our activity.
- Elaine MacInnes, Roshi
What Does Zen Offer?
Zen offers the opportunity - not a guarantee, not even a promise - but an opportunity for us to have the same experience that the Buddha had some 2500 years ago. That is, through Zen, we can see ourselves for who we really are, we can see the world as it really is. And the path to this experience is found on the cushion, by sitting Zazen together.
- Patrick Gallagher
About Our Group
Flowing Bridge is an Ottawa-based Zen meditation group in the Sanbo Zen stream of Zen. Sanbo Zen incorporates elements of both Soto and Rinzai Zen.
Flowing Bridge Sangha traces its beginning to 2006, when it was founded by Theresa Redmond. Patrick Gallagher, our teacher, was a student of Sister Elaine. Patrick travels regularly to Ottawa to lead the sangha in zazenkai and sesshin retreats. During COVID, Patrick leads weekly 'Zoom' Sits on Monday evenings.
“Ordinary life fits the infinite as a box and its lid"
Patrick Gallagher is an authorized teacher in the Sanbo Zen school of Zen, which is based in Kamakura, Japan. He was introduced to Zen by Sister Elaine MacInnes Roshi, his first teacher. He continues his Zen training under Yamada Ryoun Roshi, Abbot of Sanbo Zen. In addition to being the teacher at Flowing Bridge sangha, he is the teacher at Oak Tree in the Garden sangha in Toronto. Patrick is married; he has three adult children; and he rejoices in his four grandchildren.
Thoughts from our teacher during these times
How To Join
Because of the COVID times we are in, our sangha is currently sitting on Zoom. You are welcome to join us, but we ask that you first speak to our teacher. He’ll be happy to help you get started on a sitting practice. Simply fill out the contact form below to get in touch with us. The practice of Zen is easy to describe, but like any practice, it takes the ‘doing’ to truly experience what it is all about.
During COVID, we sit weekly on Monday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., made up of three sitting rounds of 25 minutes interspersed with kinhin (walking meditation).
Once a month, we have a half-day zazenkai (extended sitting) from 9:00am-12:00pm which includes a teaching from our teacher