The Dharma Rain community strives to be a warm and welcoming place, while upholding the forms and expectations necessary for disciplined Zen practice. We honor a variety of practice expressions, including both lay and monastic paths, family practice, and sesshin (retreats). 

Soto Zen Buddhism – one of two primary surviving Zen traditions that originated in China and migrated to Japan in the 13th Century – is distinguished by its focus on the down-to-earth practice of “everyday zen.” It encourages awareness of the workings of one’s own mind as a means of living mindfully in all areas of daily life – at home, at work and in the community. It has been practiced more widely in the West since the mid-20th Century.  At Dharma Rain, we value putting our shoes straight when we enter the Sodo as an expression of mindfulness, and recognizing the sacred in everyday reality. We value treating ourselves and others with kindness and compassion. In his “Instructions for the Cook,” written in 13th Century Japan, Dogen Zenji taught that cooking and caring for other people were as important as sitting zazen and chanting sutras.

Soto Zen is for those who want to practice Zen in everything they do. In coming face to face with their life in all its aspects, they come to know themselves and find their relationship to all other things. They learn to be truly here and to serve in all ways

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