Flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
This is the best season of your life.
Welcome to Zen Heart Sangha. Our sangha (community) has been practicing meditation together since 1993 in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the founder of San Francisco Zen Center. Zen Heart Sangha (ZHS) is guided by Misha Shungen Merrill, who received dharma transmission (permission to teach) in 1998 from Les Kaye Roshi, a dharma heir of Suzuki Roshi. We are a non- residential community with practice places in both Menlo Park and Woodside, California, with affiliated students in the Sacramento area and New York.
ZHS is dedicated to the study and practice of Zen Buddhism for lay practitioners. Zazen(sitting meditation) is the heart of our practice with emphasis on the meditation style ofshikantaza (‘just sitting’), a practice passed down from our 13thc. ancestor, Eihei Dogen. We offer zazen every Monday evening as well as lectures and group discussions. We also have a full morning program on the first and third Saturday of each month which includes zazen, a communal breakfast, work practice, and study of Buddhist teachings. There are several meditation retreats and various Buddhist ceremonies throughout the year.
We are also committed to the development of sangha and spiritual friendship. Sangha is the Buddhist word for the community of individuals who practice the Buddha’s way of meditation and mindfulness, and spiritual friendship is how we mutually support each other on this path. Because of this all practice opportunities at ZHS are offered freely in the Buddhist spirit of dana, the practice of generosity. The support of our teacher and programs is made possible by the voluntary efforts and donations of our community, not just for those already practicing, but also for those yet to come. Please join us for meditation and enjoy the ‘best season of your life’!