Each month Dharma Rain Zen Center offers introductory workshops on Zen practice that are open to all without charge. “Zen Meditation” covers the essentials of zazen (sitting meditation). “Starting A Practice” describes how to bring zazen practice into daily life with an explanation of the forms used in the zendo and during services. “Basic Buddhist Teachings” discusses the basic teachings of Buddhism.
These workshops are offered free of charge, though donations are gratefully accepted. There is no need to register or bring anything other than comfortable clothing. Workshops are held at 8500 NE Siskiyou at the Sodo (the large temple building to the left at the end of the driveway).
Introductory workshops are shown on the schedule, categorized under “Classes & Workshops”.
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. There will be a period of meditation and an opportunity to ask questions.
Starting A Practice
This workshop offers tips on starting a practice. It emphasizes the way we can cultivate insight by looking at our own actions in the light of the Buddhist Precepts, the importance of compassion in Zen practice, and how the principles of meditation apply to every activity. Some time is spent on the forms used at the Zen Center. This includes 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 Teachings
A new offering for those beginning Buddhist practice wanting to know more about the basic teachings of Buddhism. Each year in the fall we offer a Wednesday night class series called Foundational Teachings, that explores these teachings in some depth. At other times of the year, this periodic 2-hour workshop explores the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. We also introduce some other teachings, with opportunities to discuss those of interest to workshop participants.