At Bodhi Oak Zen Sangha, we aspire to adopt a beginner’s mind in the tradition of the late Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
To adopt a beginner’s mind is not to be blind to the world, but to become increasingly aware and connected to life through the practice of meditation and mindfulness. It is to discover our own awakened mind, our Buddha-mind, and to open it wholeheartedly to our life.
Sitting meditation is a tool for becoming aware of our bodies and thoughts and for learning to observe ourselves with compassion and wisdom. Although sitting meditation is foundational to Zen practice, we commit ourselves to carrying the awakened mind into every experience and every encounter, and to offering the wisdom and compassion of awakening to everyone.
Our Sangha offers a variety of Zen practices to guide us during formal sessions and in our everyday lives, in addition to instruction and practice in both sitting meditation and walking meditation. In our dharma talks, we discuss the fundamental teachings of the Buddha as well as teachings from our ancestors who taught and practiced in the Mahayana stream. In practice discussion (a short private meeting with the teacher) we have an opportunity to explore personal issues in Zen practice. In Spiritual Direction, we can deepen our practice through extended discussion and exploration of personal spirituality.
In sangha, we work together to create and maintain our community, by taking part in events, serving tea and snacks, helping to maintain Bodhi Oak Zen Center, assuming formal roles during ceremonies, and supporting the center financially. We value the support of each other in maintaining our personal practice through group meditation.
“If you are not a Buddhist, you think there are Buddhists and non-Buddhists, but if you are a Buddhist you realize everyone’s a Buddhist —even the bugs.” ~Shunryu Suzuki Roshi