Dharma Rain provides many opportunities to take workshops and classes ranging from introductory workshops for those new to Dharma Rain to seminary classes for those ready to delve more deeply in the Buddhist teachings.

Introductory Workshops

Three introductory workshops are offered regularly throughout the year.  These workshops provide basic information and helpful tips, allowing attendees to ask questions to personalize the experience and find their way into the practice.

  • Intro to Zen Meditation This class introduces zazen, which means “sitting meditation.” This workshop is designed for complete beginners, but it is also recommended for anyone who has not received instruction in the Soto Zen style of zazen. No previous experience is necessary. The workshop presents the purpose of zazen, fundamentals of posture, and specific techniques, including how to modify posture for physical limitations. The workshop includes a period of meditation and an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Starting A Practice This workshop explores cultivating insight by looking at our own actions in the light of the Buddhist Precepts and emphasizes that the principles of meditation apply to every activity. We also look at the forms used at Dharma Rain, including an explanation of the altar and other items found in the zendo (meditation hall), and the use of chanting, bowing, and other practices encountered during retreats and services.
  • Basic Buddhist TeachingsThis workshop is for those beginning Buddhist practice who want to know more about the basic teachings of Buddhism. This periodic 2-hour workshop explores the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. We also introduce other teachings, with opportunities to discuss those of interest to workshop participants.

Introductory Workshop Schedule and Location

Wednesday Evening Classes

On Wednesday evenings, a series of classes are offered that focus primarily on Buddhist teaching, particularly from the Soto Zen perspective. Courses in the Foundational Teachings of Buddhism and the Bodhisattva Precepts are offered annually. Wednesday evening classes provide a good opportunity to explore basic Buddhist teachings, and emphasize personal experience with the material. They also involve discussion, which provides opportunities for interaction with others in the sangha. This is a great way to learn and meet others.

Wednesday Evening Service and Class Schedule

Taking Your Seat

A series of classes offered periodically called Taking Your Seat covers a range of topics of interest to newer members.

Other Classes

If you are ready to move beyond basic courses, consider engaging in a Fall or Spring Term Student Program or investigating taking seminary classes.

In addition, there are sometimes extra Study Groups. For example, in Fall of 2023, we have one study group for Dogen’s Shobogenzo and another looking at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Understanding the Mind.

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