INTRODUCTION TO ZEN 4-WEEK COURSE
Wednesday, March 3, 10 & 17, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm PST (Online)
Saturday, March 27, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm PST (On Site)
An online course for new practitioners to go deeper into the teachings of Zen. In four weeks, you will learn the basics of meditation, Buddhist thought, and the history of our lineage. The fourth week’s offering is a socially-distanced guided tour of the grounds of the Zen Center. This course is designed for newcomers and anyone looking to build the foundation for a spiritual practice during shelter-in-place. Experience the person-to-person transmission of Buddhist teachings and cultivate the stillness of Zen inside your own home.
Week 1: Posture and Forms
The posture of Zazen, seated meditation, is the cornerstone to Zen practice. This is the radical act of just sitting. In sitting, we experience the embodied reality of the dropping off of the mind and returning to things as they are. Learn the principles of breath and seated positions as a foundation for spiritual practice.
Week 2: Buddhist Thought
You will be introduced to Buddhist thought, beginning with Eihei Dogen, the monk who founded the Soto Zen lineage in 1247, Japan. Dogen taught Zen Buddhism as a practical mysticism for everyday life. We will talk about the principles of no self in Mahayana philosophy. You will learn the origins of Buddha’s noble truths: life is suffering, all things are impermanent, and liberation is possible for all beings.
Week 3: SMZC Lineage and History
Learn about our lineage, the silent illumination lineage. The teachings of Buddha are transmitted from the mind to mind of teacher to student. SMZC practices as the 92nd generation of its lineage which stretches all the way back to Shakyamuni Buddha. Discover key teachers in the lineage of Zen as it moves over the centuries from India to China to Japan, and to San Francisco in the 1960s. You will learn about the founder of SMZC, Jakusho Kwong-roshi, our abbot and leader of practice for nearly 50 years.
Week 4: SMZC Tour/Visit
Come visit the grounds at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. Using the guidelines for social distancing, our group will walk through the sacred land of the mountain. Our temple sits in 85 acres of redwoods and oaks overlooking the Valley of the Moon. We will walk in the woods to the memorial grounds and stupas for teachers Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Enjoy guided tours of the hundred-year-old barn which has been our original meditation hall and see our new temple currently in construction.
986 1851 6103
Meditation is a way to calm the mind and find balance in your daily life. Incorporating a meditation practice into your daily schedule will contribute to the overall well-being of the body, mind and spirit. SMZC offers online meditation instruction and guidance to people interested in finding out about the practice. This is a secular group, open to people of all beliefs and levels of experience. The Meditation Support Group is a pressure-free, online place to learn, practice and ask questions about the fundamentals of meditation.
DROP-IN SCHEDULE - Saturdays
9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. SMZC Background, Brief Lineage & History
9:10 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Posture (How to Sit)
9:35 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. Integration into Everyday Life
9:35 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Question & Answer
Meeting ID: 132 887 219