Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 Sensei 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 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: The cost is $1,296 per year ($108 per month).
    This includes:

    • monthly Dialogue-Based Seminars
    • monthly online small circle meetings with a Dharma Buddy
    •  practice interviews with Joshin
    • access to an online library of reading
      Note: This fee doesn’t cover the $500 for the mala you will raise for the Bearing Witness retreat and the housing cost for the sesshin.
  • How can I pay?
    Answer: You can pay your application fee $108 ($143 after December 15, 2019) by sending a check via US Mail made out to Bread Loaf Mountain Monastery. Send it via US mail toPO Box 818Middlebury VT 05753.
  • Pay via PayPal (add 2.2% processing fees).
  • When you are accepted in the program you can pay the rest of the tuition $1,188 (or $1,215 if you pay by PayPal)