Each moment is all beings, each moment is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.
– Zen Master Dogen
Meditation. Contemplative practice is a way to nurture our own inner capacity for social action. It waters the root of inner wisdom that makes action fruitful. We learn that silence opens the gate of Not Knowing, and reveals a deep sense of solidarity with all things. In this way we learn the Bodhisattva’s path.
Service. We practice Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Healing Actions by following the Path of Service. Or most active service project is Gather, an active community living room day program run out of a storefront downtown.
Sangha. Spiritual community acknowledges the truth that we don’t awaken alone. Whether we sit face to face in our local sangha or around the world in a virtual community, we aim to support each other as spiritual friends in our shared commitment to not knowing, bearing witness, and healing action.
Study and Training. Studying together and training in the Zen forms help us cultivate a world view that is all inclusive. Training creates a stable practice that teaches us to show up wholeheartedly, ethically, and grounded for all beings. We support study and training groups for people exploring Zen and Buddhism as well as for longer-term practitioners training as in-the-world New Monastics, Community-Engaged Ministers of Presence, and Zen priests.
Bearing Witness. Like studying a koan, plunging into unfamiliar settings jars us out of our usual way of seeing things, revealing the dead-end of fixed ideas, labels, and categories. Practicing don’t-know mind and becoming intimate with an unfamiliar situation or group of people, our idea of who we really are shifts to be more inclusive. We begin to take care of parts of “ourselves” that have been left behind, ignored, or forgotten.
Naturally Arising Healing Actions. We engage in activities that relieve suffering. The possibilities for healing actions are limitless and rely on each person’s unique interests, gifts, talents, and abilities to serve.
Ceremony and Ritual. Spirituality is naturally imaginative, and creativity allows us to point to truths about our lives that ordinary language cannot capture. Ritual and ceremony are ways for us to make the invisible connections among us visible. Ritual teaches us to move as one body as we bow, chant, or walk together, which becomes a metaphor for the oneness, diversity, and harmony of life. We also use ceremony to call out our best and truest selves. Zen liturgies help us enact Buddhahood, our basic goodness, and calls on the vast lineage of ancestors and spiritual friends to support us in our practice.