Spiritual Maturity

In this class, taught by Rev. Chikyo Ewan Magie, we will focus on foundational elements of spiritual maturity in the unfolding of spiritual practice, and in Buddhist practice in particular. On this journey, we recognize, study, and gradually transform the presence of dukka or suffering in human life. Yet we also discover that this transformation happens both in the moment and gradually over time, as we deepen our practice and commitment. As in earlier classes, we actively engage the practice-based elements of gratitude, faith, and compassion in ending that suffering and dis-satisfaction. We will study and practice with Jack Kornfield’s book A Path with Heart (1993). Each week, after zazen, we will investigate these elements of spiritual maturity and investigate practices together during our evening class session. Week by week, we can each reflect on and investigate two of these elements. Ideally, each of us can incorporate the study and practice of gratitude, faith, and compassion into our daily and weekly practice.


Meeting and studying the presence of dukka or suffering plunges practitioners into three inter-related aspects: their difficulties to awakening to fundamental truth in this life; the challenges that facing directly presents; and the profound openings that direct, active practice of compassion manifests. Studying the sufferings of the self, we inhabit and become intimate with them. Turning towards practice, we concentrate, practice, and deepen our vows by active practices in gratitude, faith, and compassion.


This 6-week class at Prairie Mountain Zen Center will be online via Zoom for any interested practitioners. Reverend Chikyo Ryunin Ewan Magie will offer the class on Thursday evenings after zazen for 6 weeks starting mid-September 2022. Zazen begins at 6:30 and the class runs from 7-8pm. Each week there will be brief presentation followed by group sharing to keep classes interactive. And the class atmosphere involves respectful use of Right Speech, judicious selection in personal sharing. It is not a confessional or tell-all group.


Texts: A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield (1993) https://www.amazon.com/Path-Heart-Through-Promises-Spiritual/dp/0553372114



Optional Texts:

Everyday Zen Study Guide (everydayzen.org)


Eight Gates of Zen by John Daido Loori (2002)



Sept. 22: Engaging Spiritual Practice: the path to nonidealism, manifesting true kindness.


Sept. 29: We will have a break from the class this week. Instead, we will discuss a reading from The Light that Shines Through Infinity by Dainin Katagiri Roshi (2017).

Oct. 6: Deepening Spiritual Practice –Practicing Patience & Manifesting Immediacy


Oct. 13: Developing Balanced Practice– Engaging Active Questions, Opening into Integrated, Personal Practice


Oct. 20: Diving Deeper, Opening Wider– – Manifesting Flexibility, Embracing Opposites


Oct. 27: Entering Spiritual Maturity – Deepening Relationships, Embodying Ordinariness.


Nov. 3: A Matter of Everydayness –Active Compassion, Abiding Faith, Boundless Gratitude; the Practice of Spiritual Maturity



Concluding Remark: Incorporating both A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, and reflecting a bit on Eight Gates of Zen by John Daido Loori, as well as the Study Guide developed by Norman Fischer at Everyday Zen (everydayzen.org) into our personal practice enhances our understanding of Zen practice in relation to our suffering and struggles in the long spiritual journey. Ideally, we practice them together along with gratitude to enhance our moment-to-moment awareness and deepen both wisdom and compassion. However, each of us can engage these practices both in the zendo and in daily life as a way to deepen our experience of Zen practice. Learning by ourselves and with others helps nurture the Bodhisattva spirit within each of us, manifesting wisdom and compassion amongst all beings in the ten directions.