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.
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, either at Uji (the portable double-wide building first on your left as you enter the site) or the Sodo (the large temple building beyond Uji). Check the schedule to be sure about the location.
Introductory workshops are shown on the schedule, categorized under “Classes & Workshops”.
Workshop: Zen Meditation
The primary practice in Zen Buddhism is zazen, which means “sitting meditation.” The Zen Meditation 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.
Workshop: 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.