In the ancient tradition of Japanese Zen training temples, Sanshin Zen Community values three central practices: zazen, Dharma study, and community work. Soto Zen teaches devotion to the daily practice of Buddhadharma through zazen. Dogen Zenji (1200-1253) held that the essential art of zazen was to "think of not thinking" or "beyond thinking". Uchiyama-roshi called this "opening the hand of thought". Opening the hand of thought is shikantaza, or "just sitting." A unique meditation tradition in Buddhism, shikantaza avoids techniques such as counting breaths or meditating on koans, and emphasizes sitting in the upright posture, breathing deeply, and letting go of thoughts. This is, in itself, the realization of the Buddhadharma.
As a guide to zazen practice, please read Okumura-roshi's
on zazen instruction.
As a welcome from and orientation to our temple, we offer zazen instruction each Sunday morning at 9 a.m., followed by our regular Sunday program, with a Dharma talk, tea, and discussion circle.
Sanshin Zen Community's program offerings include five-days sesshins and community retreats, practice periods focusing on the study of one of Dogen Zenji's writings, Sunday zazen and dharma talks, and events marking important days of the Buddhist calendar, such as the New Year, Buddha's birthday and enlightenment days, and ryaku fusatsu (repentence) ceremonies. Every summer, practitioners who wish to make a committment to Buddha's Way by sewing a rakusu and receiving the precepts are invited to participate in a retreat and zaike tokudo ceremony. For complete information about upcoming Sanshin Zen Community events, click here.