At Dharma Rain, we offer a variety of ways to practice along the path. While the core practice is learning how to meditate and incorporating this into our daily life, the topics listed in the sidebar describe other ways to deepen our practice. All of these are open to lay practitioners at Dharma Rain.
If you are in your first year or two of practice at Dharma Rain, a good way to connect with others and find your place is to practice with a smaller group of practitioners who have a similar set of interests. Under Joining a Cohort Group, you will find opportunities such as Taking Your Seat and Term Student Program. Serving the Sangha through volunteer opportunities is another good way to meet others through a shared activity. Working with a practice advisor can also be helpful in finding the next step on your path. As your practice deepens, practices further down on the list may become of interest to you.
When we come to Dharma Rain to train with others, we sit as a group, all following the same forms: services and ceremonies, workshops and retreats. In the words of our co-founder Kyogen Carlson, “When we decide to practice with others, we are beginning to recognize that the most difficult obstacles to overcome are our own delusions. Like a smudge on the face, they remain unseen without a mirror. It is our relationship with others, particularly in the context of religious training, that gives us the chance to see ourselves clearly.”
Then we need to find a way to carry what we have learned into our lives, making it our own. As Kyogen said, “It is really the little things we do, the choices we make today, moment by moment, that determine who we will be tomorrow.” It is the seemingly mundane activities of our everyday life that provide fertile ground for Zen practice.