I run secular and Zen Buddhist mindfulness (zazen) workshops and courses for beginners and for more experienced practitioners – both within the University of Exeter, where I am Buddhist chaplain, and elsewhere.

Enquiries about workshops and courses, and any comments you may have about this website and its themes, can be entered in the reply space below.

For more information about mindfulness and zazen practice, click here: mindfulness & zazen

Other contact details are on my website:

8 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi John

    Are there currently any regular courses in Exeter with open spaces (secular and/or zazen)? If yes I am interested. Can you please give information about times and cost?

    Thanks and regards,


  2. I was delighted to come across your website. For many years I have tried to apply the sceptical method myself, but it seems to me to be near impossible for me to live without views and opinions. What I can do though is examine those views and opinions and challenge those expressed my friends. I had not realised that Master Dogen had taught that when we sit zen we should attend to what is going on within and around us. I thought he had taught that zazen was beyond thinking and not thinking, or as Nishijima and Cross put it in their translation of the Fukanzazengi “to Think the concrete state of not thinking” which is ” different from thinking”, and that “This is the secret of sitting-Zen”. My experience is that this secret of sitting-zen can only be investigated by the action of actually sitting-zen. Is not the Heart Sutra, like the Fukanzazengi, also a guide to sitting-zen, or, the practice of prajñāpāramitā? In the Heart Sutra it says (English translation of course) that if a ” bodhisattva” practices without thoughts of achievement he will be able to practice “without thought coverings” and therefore achieve the balanced state (the state of cessation). It seems to me that a lot of what is written about Buddhism is spiritual self help, unnecessary and unhelpful accretions to a very simple practice. I sit most every morning and then get up and try to get on with my life the best I can. I try to drop the concept of “Buddhism” and to apply myself wholeheartedly to the task at hand.
    Best wishes, Peter Isaac.

    • Many thanks, Peter. I’m glad the website is useful. You may be interested in exploring the sceptical tradition of Pyrrho – one of the key founders of sceptical philosophy in ancient Greece. There’s also a useful translation by Julia Annas and Jonathan Barnes of a book by Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Scepticism (published by Cambridge University Press). You’ll find many echoes of Buddhist approaches (particularly Zen). All the best, John

  3. Thank you for replying John . I already have a copy of Outlines of Pyrrhonism. It is a book that I refer to often. I would prefer to talk with you face to face about Master Dogen’s teachings because when there is a difference of interpretations web discussions often finish acrimoniously. Even though he wrote volumes for the benefit of his followers Master Dogen’s position seemed to be that the Buddhist truth can only be transmitted face to face. If you ever come to London perhaps we could meet and discuss what Master Dogen’s instructions for zazen were. Best wishes, Peter. P.S. Love your art work. It is difficult to tell by looking at them on an IPad but some seem to have a resonance of Larry Rivers. P.

    • Hi Peter. Yes, one day in London. There are probably some links with Larry Rivers – I certainly like his earlier work – he’s somewhat neglected in critical circles – a pity. Thanks for your interest and best wishes, John

  4. You might find the discussion at interesting as much of the discussion there is about informing Buddhism with Pyrrhonism and vice versa.

    • Many thanks, Doug. I’ll enjoying reading the discussion. It’s great to see Pyrrho being thought about and debated – an important antidote to the widespread dogmatism in public debate. You probably know the book by Adrian Kuzminski, Pyrrhonism: How the Greeks Reinvented Buddhism – if not it’s worth a read. Thanks again and best wishes, John

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