Photo: Jukai ceremony at Treetop Zen Center
People are attracted to the practice of zen for a variety of reasons. While we can't be all things to all people, we try our best to meet people where they are and serve their individual interests. We welcome anyone who wishes to join us in our practice.
We do offer a couple of clear tracks:
The individual/walk-in track is how most of us begin. For most people this is enough. You come whenever you wish, explore the practice, ask questions, and discover what zen practice has to offer you. You can practice this way as long as you like on your own terms. There is no charge to join with us in this way, but we encourage all those who come to pitch-in a few bucks if and when they can so we can pay rent and purchase supplies.
The Formal Zen Training track is also offered to those who request it after they have attended with our group for a while and have established a personal familiarity with our sangha (community) and the practice of zazen (zen meditation). Those who undertake formal training must ask our teacher to become a formal student. This requires a steady commitment to practice with our group, and to meeting regularly with our teacher for instruction and guidance. Trainees my choose to study the Buddhist precepts and receive them in a Jukai ceremony (this usually takes about a year). Down the road a few years, if one feels called to become a novice Zen Buddhist priest, one may undertake that study, leading to Tokudo ordination. Novice priests serve the sangha and perform some liturgical functions. They are not zen teachers. Novice priests continue to train under their teacher. Neither Jukai nor Tokudo is required of trainees. Trainees do make a commitment to meet with our teacher weekly, attend group zazen regularly and participate in weekend and/or weeklong retreats as able. Training is offered free-of-charge, however trainees are asked to help care for the others in the sangha, help with event planning and preparation and make some small financial contribution to the group. Our teacher does not receive or accept any money in exchange for his teaching.
Questions? Just ask in-person or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org