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Zen Training
Fundamental to Soto Zen training is the recognition that one's practice and realization are not separate. The Zen teacher's first responsibility, then, is to his or her own practice--establishing a schedule of zazen, services, meals, monthly and yearly ceremonies, etc. By demonstrating his/her own practice/realization s/he reveals the "road map" of Zen training for the student.
We anchor our lives with morning and evening zazen (see our schedule). From this stable place we move into our daily activities. ZCP offers opportunities to follow a schedule from morning to night that is very similar to that found in a monastary in Japan. It includes morning service, meals, work periods, and study. Each item in the schedule is an opportunity to "wake up." By learning the various aspects and duties involved in those activities, the Zen student may deepen her/his understanding. The student (and teacher!) must apply this understanding to the context of their own lives. We use the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts as our guide.
Students should consider four aspects of Zen training:
Daily zazen
We commit to ourselves, the teacher, and the community that we will make our best effort to sit on a regular basis at ZCP or at home.
Working with a teacher
Our teaching is transmitted face-to-face. Two or more times per month a new student should request an appointment with the Head Priest (Kyoki). It is the student's responsibility to request meetings with the teacher.
Working with the community
Maintaining Zen Center inside and out is the responsibility of each person who participates in Zen Center activities. Working with others, we create the Sangha, the Buddhist community.
When you come to ZCP everything is provided--teacher, zendo, cushions, etc. That is so because of the generosity of practioners who came before you. Please consider a monthly pledge proportionate to your income.
For more detailed information regarding formal Zen training at Deep Spring Temple, please see our a formal lay training outline.
Zen Center of Pittsburgh
124 Willow Ridge Road - Sewickley, PA 15143 - 412-741-1262