Zen teacher to lead day of mindfulness

By JOHN STROMNES, The Missoulian, Jan 23, 2006

Missoula, MT (USA) -- Michael Ciborski, a teacher of mindful living who was ordained by a Buddhist monk, will discuss the philosophy and lead a “Day of Mindfulness” this week in Missoula. Ciborski's talk, “Beginning Anew,” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at University Congregational Church, 401 University Ave. in Missoula.

On Friday, he will lead a ?Day of Mindfulness,? open to anyone interested in meditation and mindfulness, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and lasting all day at the Open Way Sangha, 702 Brooks St., Missoula.

Visitors may come anytime and sit for one sitting period, or the whole day. Sitting and walking periods alternate twice each hour. (Please enter and exit during the walking periods.) Ciborski will give a Dharma Talk at 11:30 a.m. - arrive a little early if you plan on attending the talk - and, starting at 4:30 p.m., a question-and-answer discussion will conclude the day of mindfulness.

Ciborski is in Missoula at the invitation of Open Way, a Missoula Buddhist community which follows the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.

Ciborski grew up in New Hampshire where, he reports, ?forest streams and my imagination were my best friends.? He began studying with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1994. For seven years he lived as a Buddhist monk in Plum Village, a monastery and practice center in France.

Named a Dharma teacher in 2001, Ciborski traveled with Thich Nhat Hanh on teaching tours around the world. An accomplished musician, one of Ciborski's roles in the Plum Village community was as English-language chant master. He returned to lay life in 2003, marrying Fern Dorresteyn, a Dharma teacher in the same tradition.

Ciborski, 34, currently lives in Temple, N.H., on a farm with his wife and friends. He is engaged in the development of a residential mindfulness-practice community for sustainable living.

For more information call 541-8192.