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Softening Barriers to Love: Growing Up and Waking Up Along the Zen Path

  • Ecumenical Buddhist Society 1516 West 3rd Street Little Rock, AR 72201 United States (map)

March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

The Zen path is ancient, yet people are still called to it and continue to practice it. This Way has been handed down for over a thousand years through forms and tradition, stories and poetry, art and ceremony. The question is, how will we walk it today and how do we make this path our own?

Flint Sparks has been both a practicing psychotherapist and longtime Soto Zen priest. His teaching combines the profoundly transformative practices handed down by our Zen ancestors with the deeply practical techniques of contemporary psychotherapy.

In this retreat, Sparks will guide us through teachings and meditation practices meant to intimately connect us to the origins of this transformative path and to demonstrate its relevance in the present – so that we may come to see the very real possibility of freedom from unnecessary suffering in our lives today. This is the path to a wholehearted life, nothing left out and nothing held back.

The retreat is appropriate for newcomers as well as seasoned Zen practitioners. Hosted by Ecumenical Buddhist Society, a community that fosters the study and practice of Buddhism in all its forms.  


Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm - dharma talk

Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm - retreat with brown bag lunch on site

Sunday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon - retreat

Cost: $150 and a limited number of partial scholarships is available.

Contact: Judith Elane 501-912-1191,

Register here. Space is limited and early registration is strongly encouraged.

About The Teacher:

Flint Sparks

Flint Sparks

Flint Sparks is a Soto Zen teacher who leads retreats throughout the United States and Europe. His traditional Zen training began at the San Francisco Zen Center and continued at the Austin Zen Center which he founded and nourished as a leader in its early years.  He was ordained in 2001 by Zenkei Blanche Hartman of the San Francisco Zen Center and was given Teacher Acknowledgment in a ceremony at the Austin Zen Center in 2007.

Flint also spent decades in the practice and teaching of psychotherapy.

His early research and counseling experience with the terminally ill inspired him to continue investigating the influence of consciousness in physical healing and emotional well-being.

Today, Flint’s teaching and consulting bridge the fields of health psychology, the psychology of contemplative practices, and traditional Zen Buddhist practice.