Wednesday evening classes

There is a class at the Zen Center most Wednesday nights, except during the summer months and the month of December. Classes focus primarily on Buddhadharma (Buddhist teaching), particularly from the Soto Zen perspective. Recordings of current classes are found below as they are available. For past classes, please contact the Center for links to recordings.

All Wednesday night programs are free and open to the public. Though there is no charge, donations are gratefully accepted.

7-7:10pm Evening Service (Fukanzazengi)
7:10-7:40pm Zazen
7:40-7:50pm Break
7:50~9pm Class
~9-9:10 Vespers

Spring Wednesday Class

Beginning April 24 through May 29, Gyoshi will teach a series of six classes on the Three Marks of Existence: Dukkha (suffering, or unsatisfactoriness), Anicca (impermanence), and Anatta (no-self). We look at the many layers of the Three Marks and learn ways to practice with them. Though you don’t have to attend all the classes to benefit from this series, the teachings do constitute a cohesive whole. Classes include experiential exercises and handouts, and are free and open to the public, no registration required. Instructor: Mike Gyoshi Kaplan. See the Syllabus.

  • April 24 – Overview of the 3 Marks and how they tie into other basic teachings of Buddhism, especially the Four Noble Truths
  • May 1 – Dukkha (Suffering, Unsatisfactoriness, Yuckness)
  • May 8 – Anicca (Impermanence)
  • May 15 – Anicca
  • May 22 – Anatta (No-Self)
  • May 29 – Anatta

Previous Spring Class

February 20 through April 10, a series of eight classes examined The Noble Eightfold Path. This teaching, the fourth of the Four Noble Truths, was presented as the medicine to relieve suffering in our lives. It is one of the Buddha’s first and core teachings. Taught by Genko and Hakugyu. Click here to see the syllabus and other files associated with the class.


Seminary classes are intended to create and maintain a shared body of knowledge and understanding about Dharma and Soto Zen within the Sangha. Students may participate in the seminary program for seminary credit toward graduation or for personal enrichment without concern for credit. The Seminary Program also prepares members who are interested in moving into leadership and instructor roles in the sangha. In either case, Seminary classes are intended for members of Dharma Rain or its affiliated groups. The tuition, whether for seminary credit or non-credit study, is on a sliding scale from $25 to $50 per term.

Seminary students meet the eligibility criteria and formally enroll in seminary. Their class work is subject to observation and review, with a focus on their ability to integrate and express the material.

Students who take classes not-for-credit participate in class discussions and do the reading but are not required to complete the written assignments or projects.

See more information about the Seminary program, including prerequisites and how to enroll and register.

Study Groups

Authorized instructors and teachers may offer study groups intended for enrichment, with permission of the Dharma Council. Such small group classes or groups are not considered seminary classes and will not count for credit toward Seminary requirements. Instructors may manage these groups independently: they can set prerequisites, limit numbers, require reading outside of class time and so on.

Each small group study has a fee of $30 to cover building costs. The instructor handles registration and is responsible for collecting fees.

Taking Your Seat

Finding your place in the practice of Zen and in a spiritual community is not always easy. Taking Your Seat is a program designed to help newer members of Dharma Rain establish their meditation practice, create warm relationships with other members, and become part of the temple community.

Taking Your Seat is for active members of Dharma Rain in their first few years of practice. The program is offered every other year, and will be offered again this fall.