Why do people join the Infinite Circle?
Answer: People joining the program want to practice with and serve those who live close to the place they call home. They may be a caring neighbor, nonprofit worker, a grassroots activist, organizational volunteer, donor, board member, or a steady quiet presence, but they all share a common aspiration for the flourishing of everyone in their community, whether they define that geographically, by affiliation or identity, or organizationally.
Do I need to be a Zen student to join the Infinite Circle?
Answer: No you don’t have to be a Zen student. We accept all religious traditions and those not identified with a particular religion in our program. However, you should be open to the practices of a Zen Peacemaker, which includes meditation, ceremony, Dharma study and bearing witness.
Do I need to become a student of Sensei Joshin?
Answer: No you don’t have to be a student of Joshin for the first year of the program. However, if you want to become a Community Engaged Buddhist Minister, which requires an authorization, you will need to be a formal student of Joshin.
What is a Community Engaged Buddhist Minister?
Answer: A Community Engaged Buddhist Minister is a person who has received a lay authorization from Joshin to lead meditation and council process, as well as create programs in poor neighborhoods and marginalized communities.This authorization is renewable yearly in discernment with Joshin.
How is a dialogue-based seminar meeting structured?
Answer: Infinite Circle uses small group dialogue process for integrating what we are learning. It is derived from the Way of Council. This practice fosters a contemplative way of listening and speaking to others that allows for processing knowledge and experiences in a safe and non-threatening manner. Dialogue process will be used consistently throughout the Infinite Circle.
How much time will the Infinite Circle require?
Answer: We expect that the Infinite Circle will require:
One monthly three-hour seminar
One monthly two-hour small circle meeting
Daily meditation practice and monthly online attendance at pre-recorded Gate of Sweet Nectar and Precept Renewal ceremonies
Required readings and assignments as outlined in the curriculum
Volunteer work in your community
Quarterly practice interview
What is the cost of the Infinite Circle?
Answer: We ask for a contribution of $1,296 per year ($108 per month).
How can I pay?
Answer: You can pay your application fee $108 ($143 after December 15, 2020) by sending a check via US Mail made out to Bread Loaf Mountain Monastery. Send it via US mail to: PO Box 818, Middlebury VT 05753. Pay via PayPal (add 2.2% processing fees).