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

Upcoming Classes

Our annual Foundational Teachings class series, exploring the basic teachings of Buddhism, begins October 18, taught by Jiko and Shintai.

  • October 18 – The Buddha’s life and early teachings (not recorded)
  • October 25 – The Four Noble Truths, Three Marks of Existence, Dukkha (dissatisfaction)
  • November 1Anicca (change), the Six Worlds, Karma and rebirth
  • November 8Anatta (no-self), emptiness, Nirvana, 8-fold path
  • November 15 – Meditation and other practices, koans, the Precepts
  • November 22 – No class due to holiday
  • November 29 – Buddhism today, Zen, lineage

Precepts Study Classes

This class about the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts, the ethical guidelines of Zen practice begins January 3, 2018. Handouts with short readings will be provided in class. We will discuss both the theory and practice of working with the precepts, as well as how precepts can provide a karmic mirror for our thoughts, habits, and actions. This class leads up to a week-long sesshin (February 12-18), which culminates in Jukai (giving and receiving the precepts) ceremony on February 18. Taking the precepts at Jukai means formally becoming a Buddhist. If you would like to learn more, additional information will be provided in class. The instructor will be Jeanna Annen Moyer.

Jiko will be the Preceptor this year. If you are thinking of taking the Precepts, you need to meet with Jiko, ideally during fall term, before the Precepts classes start. If you’re planning to take the Precepts, you are expected to take this class if at all possible.

Dharma Studies / Seminary

Dharma Studies / Seminary classes are intended to create and maintain a shared body of knowledge and understanding about Dharma and Soto Zen within the Sangha. Classes may be taken for formal seminary credit toward graduation, or for personal enrichment without concern for credit. In either case, Dharma Studies / Seminary classes are intended for members who are senior practitioners with an understanding of fundamental Buddhist and Soto Zen concepts and vocabulary. Tuition is $120/term.

Dharma studies classes are in-depth explorations of Dharma available to members of Dharma Rain or its affiliated groups for personal enrichment. Students may choose to audit the material by attending classes and reading, or do the class assignment for their own experience. Tuition is $60/term.

The seminary program is for the training of members who expect to move into leadership and instructor roles. These students must apply and meet specified criteria. Their class work will be subject to a higher level of observation and review, with a focus on their ability to integrate and express the material. When a person enters the seminary training track, their prior work in seminary-level courses is reviewed, and it may be requested that they repeat a class in order to have their work assessed at this greater level of scrutiny.

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

This fall, Kakumyo and Jyoshin will teach a class on Mahayana Philosophy, looking especially at the Madyamika and Yogacara schools. The first class is Friday, August 18 from 6-9pm. Others will be Tuesdays, 7-9pm: September 12 & 26; October 10 & 24; November 7 & 21; and a final Saturday, December 2, from 2-5pm.

Independent 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 begins in September and includes five Tuesday evening meetings from 7-9pm over the course of three months: September 19, October 3, October 17, November 14, and November 28. Leaders are Shin’yu and Ko’in. Classes will meet at the Sodo.

Please register for the classes by using the form below.

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