The Great Wave Zen Sangha is organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a non-profit charity.  Like most other such organizations, its ability to perpetuate the Buddha’s teaching is entirely dependent upon your generosity.  Donations (known as dana in the Buddhist tradition) are therefore encouraged and gratefully received.  While members of Great Wave commit to making regular monthly donations, non-members who practice at Great Wave need only cover the cost of retreats (which are shown in the table below).

Becoming a member of Great Wave provides a number of financial advantages, including a significant discount on retreats.  You can learn more about membership categories on our membership page.


Retreat Costs
Half-Day Retreats Zazenkai Extended Zazenkai Sesshin
Members $0 $30/night $40/night  $40/night
Non-Members $0 $30/night $60/night $60/night


If you cannot afford to pay for retreat, you may still attend one.  The Sangha will make every effort to ensure that no one will be denied access for financial reasons.  For more information about this, please see our financial hardship page.

It is also possible to make a one-time donation to Great Wave.  If you believe that our mission deserves support, we invite you to visit our Dana page.

We sincerely appreciate all that our many members and friends have done for us over the years.

Privacy Policy

The Great Wave Zen Sangha does not collect users’ personally identifiable information (PII) without their consent.  When registering for a new account on this website, or for a Sangha event, or for membership in the Sangha, users are asked to provide certain kinds of information, including name, mailing address, email address, phone number, date of birth, and when necessary, information to help provide accommodations for people with disabilities or dietary restrictions.  Event registration forms also commonly collect emergency contact information including, but not limited to, names, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses.  Users’ PII will never be shared with any third party for any reason, except in the case of a user’s serious injury or death; malicious misuse of this website or its server; and/or disruption of Sangha events and operations.  In such cases, PII will then only be shared with a user’s designated emergency contact(s); law enforcement agencies; and/or bona fide medical workers, as appropriate for particular circumstances.   Users are routinely urged to subscribe to this blog by providing an email address.  Great Wave Zen Sangha will never spam subscribers.  Nevertheless, if users are receiving unwanted email notices about upcoming events and other news, users may remove themselves from our mailing list at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any email.

What is Zen Buddhism?

A Greco-Buddhist statue, one of the first repr...
Image via Wikipedia

Buddhism is the religion based on the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha, an Indian who experienced Great Awakening while seated under the Bodhi Tree and who devoted his life to teaching others about 2600 years ago. Though the Buddhist tradition today is vast and its outward expression varies from country to country, it nevertheless is quite consistent in its basic teaching: that all things in the universe are subject to change and that human suffering, dissatisfaction, or the sense that somehow life is unfulfilling or incomplete are all ultimately rooted in self-clinging and the greed, anger and ignorance it engenders. According to the Buddha, such self-clinging can be overcome through the development of the wisdom and compassion innately present in each of us.

Zen is a centuries-old form of the Buddhist tradition that originated in China and developed into its current forms in Korea, Japan, and

Buddha Daibutsu, Kamakura, Japan. This statue,...
Image via Wikipedia

Vietnam. In the 20th century, Zen spread around the world and is now one of the fastest growing religions in the west. Practically speaking, Zen helps people become more focused, centered, and more receptive. It helps them avoid being blinded by their own preconceptions of themselves and others. Zen can also help people practice another religious tradition more deeply. Though people practice Zen for many reasons, ultimately Zen practice is an expression of our fundamental completeness and wholeness as we are.