Daoren means “person of the Way.”  In Soto Zen practice, “the Way” is always right before you.

Members of the Daoren Circle seek to practice the Way wholeheartedly, especially within the concrete details of our everyday lives. We rigorously nourish this intention through exploration and commitment to the Mahayana practice of vow. Vows in common as well as personal vows are put in place as everyday markers for practice opportunities. Each Daoren must deeply consider how to meet these commitments in our daily lives.

Daoren seek to convert personal preference and habit energy through the daily practice of zazen and the Precepts, simple ritual, and dedication.



Full members of Dharma Rain who have taken the precepts, have attended one sesshin, and have participated in at least one session of the Term Student program, are eligible to join.


The Daoren Circle is open to new members in July of each year.  If you think you would like to become a Daoren beginning with fall term, please contact Kyri Kengan Treiman or speak with any Daoren member before July 31.  

Application begins with a statement of intention, followed by an interview and exploration of intention. A period of discernment, considering how to meet the commitment of Daoren common form and personal vows (if any), follows in August. The Daoren practice year begins in September and formal practice ends in June, although each Daoren may decide how much of the form to maintain over the summer months.  

Vows and Group Meetings

Daoren commit to forms and practice principles in common and may also commit to individual vows. Vows may be taken for a specific period of time and can be extended and renewed. An opportunity for review and revision is taken halfway through the practice year, between Ango periods. Summer traditionally allows for flexible and less formal practice.

Daoren Circle members meet for a monthly check-in on Sunday after temple practice. We meet face-to-face at least three times during the year, most often in the homes of each other. Mondo or other forms are practiced monthly in person and on-line. Accountability, transparency, and connection are encouraged in conversation and communication.

Relationship with Dharma Rain

  • Daoren are not usually residents within the temple community, yet we remain one with the sangha while continuing to carry out our vows and the duties of our particular lives and occupations, wherever we may be in the world.
  • Daoren are guided and inspired by continued spiritual association with a Dharma Rain Teacher and with the sangha.
  • Daoren seek transparency in temple relationships and are open to being mentored on occasion by Dharma Rain teachers and by each other.
  • Daoren involve ourselves visibly and fully in the life of the Dharma Rain sangha, follow the temple calendar, and take ownership and responsibility for the Sangha jewel to the extent that we are able.

Daoren Common Form


Morning or evening, 3 times per week.

Daily Ritual

Begin and end each day with a simple ritual. Begin each meal with the Five Thoughts.


A period of simple labor, beginning with a dedication, done as silently as practical, at least three times weekly.

Service to Sangha

At least four hours every month in whatever capacity is needed.  This might include a communal responsibility such as maintaining the temple library.


At least three days every year of a communal schedule focusing on silence and zazen.

Daoren Circle Meetings

Daoren Circle meetings include:

  • Monthly check-in for support and connection, accountability to vows, and common form.
  • Home retreats several times yearly to foster enthusiasm for practice.
  • Online Mondo or Daisan.

Meeting with a Teacher

Doaren have an ongoing spiritual relationship with a Dharma Rain teacher.

Optional Personal Vows

Daoren may choose individual vows for a finite period, such as:

  • Practice with the Body
  • Creative Activities
  • Working in the Community
  • Family Relationships
  • Zendo Role
  • Dharma Study
  • Personal Koans and Questions of Karma

Practice Principles

Daoren recognize that our success as positive examples of Zen practice depends primarily on the practice of zazen and so keep our own meditation practice steady and vital. 

Daoren fully commit to the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts and continue to deepen our relationship with the Precepts through regular recitation, recollection and contrition. 

We practice the spirit of the Precepts by making the living use of material things, by cultivating gratitude for what is given, and by caring for life in all its forms. 

Daoren cultivate trust in the Dharma and try to see the practice opportunities within challenge and constant change. We practice patience and good humor within the sufferings and difficult conditions that come to everyone. 

Daoren practice giving and seek to be friendly and warmhearted to all beings, especially those suffering in body and mind, young children and the aged, and those who are lost or unprotected. 

Daoren seek simplicity, respect and clarity in relationships, as we fulfill the duties of our lives especially with regard to the care of our families and dependents. 

Daoren seek guidance and instruction when we are in doubt or troubled. 

Daoren value Sangha relationships and commit to mutual respect and confidentiality in our interactions with one another. 

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