Barry Farrin founded Forest Way Zen on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in June 1989. He was appointed a Sensei (teacher) in the Diamond Sangha Zen tradition in 2004, and received Dharma Transmission and the title of Roshi on the 9th of August, 2015. Forest Way Zen conducts Zen meetings at Doonan each week and runs regular Zazenkai (short retreats). Barry also conducts 3, 5 and 7 day Sesshins (long retreats) during the year and a five day Christmas Sesshin.
Barry has studied Vipassana and Zen meditation, which are forms of Buddhist practice since 1984 and began his meditation practice in 1976. He became interested in Transcendental Meditation in 1977 and attended many of their retreats in the Blue Mountains.
Barry became interested in the science of meditation while he completed his Masters Degree. He looked at meditation as a way of enhancing the quality of life for the unwell and for people who wanted to find a deep meaning in life. Barry designed a Stress Management Program based on these studies. He conducted weekly mindfulness meditation training classes at Bloomhill Cancer Help and continues this interest.
He lived in a Zen Monastery in Brisbane for 12 months in 1995-96 and studied with the prominent Zen teacher Aitken Roshi in Hawaii in 1996.He is a student of Subhana Barzaghi Roshi and has trained with her since 1991. Barry has studied with other prominent Zen teachers including Gregg Howard, Geoff Dawson, Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton from the Ordinary Mind Zen, Ama Samy Roshi, Rosalind Stone and Hogen Roshi.
He has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice and as a consultant counsellor in palliative and cancer care. He has a Bachelor of Social Science, a Masters degree in Applied Science and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. He was a founding member of the Sunshine Coast Interfaith Network (SCIN) and is committed to exploring and developing better processes in “living together”.
Barry is interested in how we apply the insights gained in Zen meditation practice to every day life. Barry places emphasis on the ordinary moments of our life and his teachings are about taking responsibility in our daily affairs. He encourages his students to examine the relevance of Zen in the 21st century and the role of Zen meditation in developing the qualities of personal responsibility.
Barry is now retired and has more time to devote to the Forest Way Zen and Zen teaching. He is increasing his dharma teaching commitment and relying more on Dana (donation) to continue his teaching of the Dharma.