8 or 9-months Practice Program for House-holders
beginning January 2017
Acces To Zen invites you to participate in a program which emphasizes practices geared especially for those who live and work outside of temple or monastic settings! This program will give you the container in which to frame how you can live fully, manifesting and sharing what’s important to you with your loved ones, your community, and the planet.
How it’s geared for you:
Currently, most United States practice programs have generally emphasized meditation to practitioners. This may be due to how Zen has been promoted in Western convert practice settings. It’s been a very useful way. Yet, now, with the maturing of practices in the US, it’s time to reclaim how the laity — called “house-holders” in the Buddha’s time — was a large and important aspect of Buddhism and Buddhist practices.
Therefore, the revitalizing of this term for the laity is fitting in our current times as AccessToZen seeks to make accessible the teachings and practices which traditionally have been offered first and foremost to ALL practitioners: studies and engagement with the precepts.
Awake Program Format:
Access To Zen is pleased to make the studies of the precepts / values-enactments more accessible by offering 2-tracks: Engaged-Studies or Jukai (Lay Initiation/Ordination Ceremony).
The teachings are FREE. Depending on meeting-space rental and retreats site, each track will have different requirements and costs. Meetings are both in-person and remote/web-access available.
Engagement with precepts, or values-enactments, has long been part of the practice to manifest an awakened life within the tradition of Buddhism. The traditional framing of the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts are a container in which you’ll be able to practice with and transform to fit your life. With this program, you’ll be introduced to teachings on the specific precepts via readings and Dharma talks on the topic. Then you’ll be able to engage in monthly practice intentions (value-enactments) which you get to frame yourself; in the midst of what’s happening with you in real and current ways. We’ll then meet for reflections and discussions. Through this framing, the precepts become lived experiences and not simply as “rules” or “should’s”. For example, the precept of “I vow not to kill” is currently framed for me as “I vow to live in connection; to live from remembering that we are all connected and want the best for each other.”
Soto Zen’s 16 Bodhisattva Precepts are essentially a set of values which, in the engagement with them, acts as guides for us to see how we can live more fully.