Participation

Zazen (seated meditation) is the heart of Zen practice which integrates body, breath, and mind, allowing us to enter into deep silence and stillness moment after moment. Kinhin (walking meditation) is the practice of meditation in activity, coordinating our breath with the movement of our feet and connecting our body firmly to the ground.

Besides zazen and kinhin, we also study the dharma (Buddhist teachings), participate in services of chanting and bowing, and share community meals and work practice together. All of these activities combined encourage and develop our ability to bring our attention and open heart to each moment of our everyday lives.

For meditation, loose comfortable clothing that modestly covers arms and legs is most suitable. Cushions and chairs are provided for sitting. As a courtesy, please arrive at least five minutes before the beginning of meditation or other sangha activities.

Monday Evening

  • Time: 7-9pm
  • Location: Peninsula School
  • Normal Monday evening schedule: One period of zazen, service, and lecture
  • Retreat schedule: First Monday of each month; three periods of zazen and two periods of kinhin

Saturday Morning (1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month)

Zazen 5:50-6:20am
Kinhin 6:20-6:30
Zazen 6:30-7:00
Service 7:00-7:20
Breakfast 7:20-8:00
Work 8:00-8:40
Zazen 8:40-9:15
Study/Discussion 9:15-10:15

On the first and third Saturday of each month, we are continuing our study and discussion of the Sandokai, the famous “song of enlightenment” by Master Sekito Kisen. We are using Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s commentary contained in the book Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness as our core text. All are welcome to attend on an ad hoc basis.

Children and Youth: Dharma School

Dharma School is an opportunity for children of sangha members to participate in mindfulness-based activities in a joyous environment. Activities include meditation, storytelling, games, art projects, gardening, movement (Chi Gong), and Zen arts including Cha-no-yu (Tea Ceremony) and Ikebana (flower arranging).

Dharma School takes place on the second Saturday of each month.

Tea Ceremonies

There is a monthly class in Japanese Tea Ceremony on the Friday afternoon before the 3rd Saturday of each month. This is taught by Misha Merrill who has studied the way of tea for 30 years under two teachers of the Mushanokoji School. For more information, please contact Misha at mishamerrill@gmail.com.

  • Location: Misha’s home
  • Time: 4-6pm

Saturday Seminar (every other month)

This year we are studying teachings relevant to practicing Zen in our everyday, lay lives. Though Zen has its roots in monastic practice, it also has a tradition of lay ordination and practice going back to the time of Dogen, which seems particularly relevant in today’s fast-moving and often chaotic-feeling times. We begin with the Vimalakirti Sutra, and will then turn to writings by Pema Chodron, Norman Fischer, Frank Ostaseski, Darlene Cohen, and Dogen for guidance in bodhisattva practice. This class requires a commitment to attend all sessions. For more information and location, contact Jill Kaplan at kjillkaplan@gmail.com.

Retreats

Classes, retreats and workshops are offered throughout the year. All are welcome to attend these various offerings after participating in the Monday or Saturday meditation programs in order to promote an individual’s basic understanding, as well as ensure the cohesion of the group.

Membership

Sangha is the Buddhist word for the community of individuals who practice the Buddha’s way of meditation and mindfulness. Anyone with a desire to practice in this way is invited to become a member of our lay community simply by signing our ‘Guest Member’ sheet or writing directly to the Head Teacher. There is no financial requirement to become a member; the ability to vote in elections or to be eligible for board positions is based solely on number of years of practice with the sangha.

Practice Opportunities

There are many ways in which members contribute to the well-being of the sangha while increasing their sense of connection with the group. Practice opportunities include recording lectures, maintaining the website, setting up for the evening meditation programs, coordinating Dharma School for children in the sangha, creating a quarterly newsletter, and serving on our Council of Harmony and Practice Committee. Volunteers serve as officers and board members to oversee the financial and administrative activities of the sangha. In addition, all members are encouraged to attend quarterly Sangha Meetings as another way of sharing practice issues and deepening dharma friendships.