Classes, Retreats, and Events Fall 2017 thru Spring 2018


Fundamentals of Buddhism

This is a class for those new to Buddhism and who want to learn something of the basic principles and practices.  Over the course of the two nights participants with learn about the Three Marks of the Dharma, The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, and the Four Immeasurables.  They will also learn some of the basic protocols of temple practice. In addition, some very basic meditation instruction will be given.  Please note that this class is offered as either a two consecutive Tuesday night sessions or a three hour Saturday Morning session.

Date: Saturday January 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

Facilitator: Venerable Hung Su

Suggested Donation (not a fee) $25

Pre-Registration required by emailing Hung Su at



Exploring Truth: Women’s Spiritual Wellness Group

This discussion group will be a consolidation of immediately applicable ideas from Buddhism, neuroscience and western psychotherapy. Topics may include: differences between Eastern and Western spirituality; research behind mindfulness meditation; practical strategies of Buddhist principles; brain chemistry and spiritual experience; Worry and rumination; happiness and the mind. Materials for discussion by Pema Chodron, Ram Dass, Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mark Nepo and others.

Week 1         Waking up/Contemplative living

Week 2         Suffering/Rumination and self-talk

Week 3         Compassion/Forgiveness

Week 4         The art of stillness/Achieving equanimity

Week 5         Neurotheology/Faith and the brain

Week 6         Resiliency/Life as practice


This discussion group is facilitated by Susan Massaro McFarland. It will meet from 1:30pm-3:30pm for six weeks beginning Sunday, September l0th and ending October 22nd. All materials provided and include articles from various sources, videos, podcasts and films. Cost is $50.00. Held at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple and Zen Center where all proceeds will be donated. Women of all faiths and beliefs are invited to participate. Group size limited to only eight women, so register early.

For additional information on content and fee, or to register, e-mail or


Dharma Art in the Studio

Morning of art practice and meditation in an art studio at 1111 Godfrey in Grand Rapids, MI.

9:00 -12:00

We will explore the practice of ‘dharma art’—creating from a place of open awareness.  All materials and supplies are provided.  The creative activities will include meditation and art making.  Weather permitting we will be outdoors part of the time.  Registration limited to 12 participants. 

 Date: October 6 9-Noon

Facilitator: Rev Lianghua Su

Fee: $20. 

Register by emailing Lianghua Su Jill Eggers at, or calling 616 308-8023. 

Introduction to Lojong Meditation Practice

Lojong is a Tibetan meditation practice whose object is to train the mind for compassion.  In this workshop attendees will be exposed to the specific practice of Lojong.  Through a series of guided meditations that are contained in the Rituals and Practices Book, participants can learn how this specific meditation practice can lead to less stress and suffering in one’s life and how to approach daily living with more understanding and compassion for others.  This mediation practice is undertaken at the temple once a month on the night of the Full Moon.

Facilitator: Mark Hepper

Dates : Tuesday October 3 and 10 at 7:00 pm

Fee: $50

To Preregister call or email  Mark at or 616 304 6141


Intermediate Buddhist Practice

This class will meet on two consecutive Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m.  Based on the book What the Buddha Taught (suggested that participants bring a copy), this class is a follow-up to Buddhism for Beginners and will go into greater depth in a more specific way regarding the teachings of the Buddha.  Handouts will be provided containing the specific teachings to be covered. 

Dates: Tuesday October 17 and 24 at 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Venerable Ahm Koh Su

Fee: $50

To preregister call or email Ahm Koh at or 616 437 2310


Creating a Mandala through Exploration of Sacred Geometry

This class, part learning and part experiential, will focus on an exploration of sacred geometry in different religious traditions, including Buddhism.  While we will look at a variety of shapes utilized throughout the ages as an expression of sacredness and meaning, this class will focus primarily on the circle.  Participants will have an opportunity to create their own mandala during this session.  No art experience required.  If you have a preferred art medium or drawing paper/journal, please bring these items to the class (no paints or watercolors, please).  Otherwise, all materials will be provided.


Dates:  Tuesday November 7 and Tuesday, November 14 from 7-9PM.  

Fee: $50

Facilitator: Rev Ai Su

Pre-registration required by emailing  Ai Su at or calling her at 269 929 6894


Art Practice and Body Meditation and--?

Saturday January 20 9:00-12:00

This workshop will consist of some yet-to-be-determined combination of meditation practice, body awareness practice, and creative feedback practice.  Check back closer to the date for a fuller description of the plan for this Saturday morning.  It will be an exploration of where our art and meditation practices have been taking us. 


January 20, 2018 900 – Noon

Facilitator: Rev Lianghua Su

Suggested Donation $7


The Gift of Meditation

This class will meet on two consecutive Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m.  The class will focus on the reasons, methods, and benefits of a consistent meditation practice.  From sitting in your car, to sitting in traffic, to walking in the city or on the beach, meditation is available to us at all times and in many ways.  Handouts will be provided at the first class. 

Dates: Tuesday February 6 and 13 at 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Venerable Ahm Koh Su

Cost $50

To preregister call or email Ahm Koh at or 616 437 2310


Cultivating Metta (Loving-Kindness) on the Cushion and in Daily Life  

Participants will experience a thirty minute Loving-Kindness meditation, followed by an exploration of each of the sequential components of this practice (cultivating loving kindness for ourselves, for those we love, for those with whom we experience challenges, for all people, for all living beings/planet earth).  Over the course of the two classes, instruction will be offered on how to build and integrate a Metta meditation into one’s own practice, as well as how to translate the insights from this practice off the cushion and into everyday life. 

Dates:  Tuesday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 13 from 7-9PM.  

Facilitator: Rev Ai Su

Fee:  $50.  

Pre-registration required by  emailing Ai Su at or calling her at 269 929 6894


Art Practice: Creative Feedback Session

How do we look without preconceptions, and without judgment?  How can we use art to deepen our Buddhist practice?  This morning session is a meditation in looking.  Participants are invited to bring one or more pieces of their own art work (optional).  Past participants of the Oxbow Dharma Art retreat are invited to bring anything they have made since the retreat.  This session will also provide the foundation for future sessions of those who would like to develop their own art practice in relation to their Buddhist practice.  This session is open and supportive to the experienced artist and novice alike.   Note that this creative feedback session will be held in an art studio and not at the temple.

Dates:  Saturday, May 12, 2018 10:00-am 12:00 pm,

 Location: Studio 342, 1111 Godfrey, Grand Rapids, MI

Facilitator: Rev  Lianghua Su

For Directions contact Lianghua Su or  616 308-8023.

Suggested Donation $5


On-Going Dharma Discussion Groups

Groups meet each Thursday with Ven Hung Su.  The first group meets at 9:00 am to discuss a particular Buddhist text.  The second group meets at 10:00am to discuss how to live the Dharma.


Retreats: (all retreats are held at Oxbow Center for The Arts in Saugatuck/Douglas Michigan)

Just the Silence

This is an entirely silent retreat with the exception of several teachings and guided mediations offered by the facilitator, and we will view and discuss the  film, “Among White Clouds” Saturday evening..  During this retreat each participant will experience the insights offered by immersion into complete silence.  No electronics, cell phones, or any contact with anyone other the facilitator will be permitted.  All meals will also be taken in silence.  Participants are discouraged from bringing anything that might distract them, such as work related materials.  Participants are encouraged to bring related reading materials (some are suggested below) and a journal to write in. 

Dates: Friday October 20 thru Sunday noon October 22

Fee (including single room and all meals): $175

Facilitator: Venerable Deok Wun

Pre-registration required not later than October 15 by emailing Deok Wun at deokwun@grzen,org or calling him at 616 822 2465

Suggested Reading in  Support of The Retreat:

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, Thich Naht Hahn

Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness, Robert Sardello

Silence,  Shusako Endo (not widely available)

Faith: Trusting Your Own Experience, Susan Salzberg



Dharma Art”, Art Practice Retreat,

What are the relationships between creativity, or art making, and our practice of the dharma?  How can we open to our true creativity through our practice, and how can we open to our practice, through creativity?  In this retreat, we will explore these questions through individual and collaborative creative processes, and meditation practices.   The retreat will offer practices that are relevant and accessible to those with no prior art experience, as well as the accomplished artist.  The retreat will begin with a refresher in basic meditation instruction, for those who may be new to Buddhist practice.  Limited to 18 participants. 

Date: March 1-4

Facilitator: Rev Lianghua

Cost: $325 Includes all materials and room and board

Pre-Registration Required by contacting Rev Lianghua at


The Wheel within the Wheel: Family Systems and The Dharma

This retreat will focus on Buddhism as a Spiritual and Heart Path.  While we are familiar with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path which lead the way to awakening and Buddhahood, we must also be critically and crucially aware of the conscious and unconscious obstructions along the Path which hinder our progress and may even impede it all together.  The intention of this retreat is to closely examine and discover those obstructions, both those known and obvious to us, and to illuminate those which may be lying in the sociological, cultural, emotional, and familial biases which tend to be inherent in each one of us as a result of our past experiences.

This retreat will include personalized writing assignments, time for deep reflection and meditation, and tools for bringing obstructions into the light for examination and, where possible, reduction.  The Buddha has said, “All things are created by mind alone”.  The focus of this retreat will be to transform our thinking and our minds into a mirror wherein everything is reflected, but nothing…no obstruction…is possessed, making the Path clearer for us to follow. This retreat is limited to 15 people.

Date: April 6-8

Facilitator: Ven Ahm Koh

Cost: $175 per person including room, all meals, and all materials

Pre-registration is required not later than March 15by calling or emailingAhm Koh at or 616 437 2310


Special Events

Full Moon Lojong Meditation (unless otherwise indicated all take place starting at 5:30 PM:

            Sept 6

            Oct 5

            Nov 4

            Dec 3

            Jan 2 and 31

            March 2 and 31

            April 30

            May 29


Hungry Ghost Festival---this festival will be held on Sunday, October 15   to pay honor and respect to our ancestors. Potluck follows,

Winter Kyol Che (Monday December 4 thru Saturday December 9)---A week long period in preparation for Buddha’s Enlightenment.  There will be meditation periods Tuesday and Thursday from 7-7:45 am (temple breakfast follows) and from 5:30-6:15 pm.  Teachings will be delivered at the evening sessions. On Saturday there will be a  work practice period from noon to 1:00 pm to prepare the temple for the service on December 10.

Buddha’s Enlightenment---Sunday December 10. Potluck follows

Lunar New Year Celebration and Atonement Ritual---Sunday February 18. Potluck follows

Buddha’s Birthday---Sunday April 8. Potluck follows

Precepts Sunday---Sunday May 20. Potluck follows


Meditation in the Body Sessions

Body meditation mornings include three periods of different body-based awareness and meditation practices.  Feel free to come to one or come to all three (but please be on time for the start of the hourly session). 

Suggested donation $7 per session. 

Saturday, Aug 12

September 16

November 11

December 2

April 14

Session Times (same for all dates)

9:00-9:45 am

10:00-10:45 am

11:00-11:45 am


Preceptor Training

The Five Precepts constitute the basic code of ethics undertaken by lay followers of Buddhism. The Precepts are commitments to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication.

Through a combination of individual reflection, prostrating, reading, journaling, small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with the Precepts Master, over the course of four months, participants will deepen into the gifts of the Precepts, allowing them to slowly and intentionally be integrated into everyday living.  Preceptors will also be responsible for cleaning the Temple and attending service every Sunday morning, unless advance arrangements are made with the Precepts Master.

There will be an initial informational meeting of all those interested on Sunday January 6 following Sunday service where the training process and precepts will be briefly presented.  The training extends from January 13, 2018 thru Preceptor Sunday on May 20, 2018.  Attendance at a one day retreat on May 19 and the Ceremony of May 20 are mandatory.

Precepts Master:  Rev Ai Su

Fee: $75 which includes all materials

If you have questions please direct them to Rev Ai Su at or by calling 269 929 6894.


Bodhisattva Commitment Training

Undertaking the Bodhisattva Commitments is a serious a life-long commitment.  This training should only be taken up by those who are willing to take the time to prepare and then live the life of a bodhisattva.  There will be an initial informational meeting of all those interested on Sunday October 15 following Sunday service where the training and commitments will be briefly presented.  This training is only open to those who have held the Gifts of the Five Moral Precepts for at least one year or who have permission of Teacher.  The training extends from November 1, 2017 thru Preceptor Sunday on May 20, 2018.  Attendance at a one day retreat on May 19 and the Ceremony of May 20 are mandatory.

Commitments Master:  Ven Deok Wun

Fee: $75 which includes all materials

If you have questions please direct them to Ven Deok Wun at