While many New Zealanders flock to the beach in search of sun during their summer holidays, others choose to spend days and nights together in silent retreat.
Spectrum joins Zen Buddhist practitioners on the last day of a week long Sesshin of Silent Meditation and introspection, as they emerge from their gruelling schedule of predawn starts, zazen, chanting services, formal silent meals in the zendo, and talks by a visiting Zen teacher. A morning service and a beginners guide to sitting very still for long periods, is contrasted with the noisy hubbub of people eager to speak again, and keen to share their experience. It is the final day of 3 weeks of events which have drawn people from all over New Zealand, to the woodland setting of the Cracroft Centre at the base of the Christchurch Port hills.
Zen teacher Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei is a regular visitor to New Zealand from the Zen Mountain Monastary of the Mountain and Rivers Order in upstate New York. The Order has been a branch of Zen practice in New Zealand for nearly 20 years.