Great Wave Zen Sangha
Zen Practice at Great Wave

Zen Practice at Great Wave

The han, or wooden bell.
The han, a wooden bell that calls practitioners to zazen.

Zen practice at Great Wave blends a variety of traditional and contemporary activities, giving everyone life-long opportunities to deepen and clarify their understanding of the Buddha’s teaching.

Chief among our practices, of course, is meditation or zazen.  As the core practice of the Zen tradition, zazen helps us develop a disciplined mind, one characterized by wisdom, compassion, and equanimity.  Members of the Great Wave Sangha meet weekly for zazen but also maintain a meditation practice at home. They also participate in sesshin and zazenkai—intensive, meditation-focused retreats that profoundly deepen one’s appreciation of our life.

Additionally, members of the sangha can register for classes and workshops that acquaint them with the historical traditions of Buddhism and Zen and give them opportunities to study scripture and explore contemplative arts practices such as ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arranging), shodo (ink and brush calligraphy), or chado (the Japanese tea ceremony).  Book and art discussions are also a periodic activity that help inspire and clarify.

Along with spiritual and intellectual training, students at Great Wave are encouraged to participate in various forms of engaged Buddhism, or civic-minded activities as a form of practice in service of others. Such activities have included growing food for the local food pantry and eco-Dharma activities such as beach sweeps and volunteering with the Forest Service to eradicate invasive species.

For more information, we invite you to read about Great Wave’s

  • Training Paths, which offer opportunities for lay practice, lay ordination, and full ordination as a Zen priest.
  • Eight Gates of Training, which everyone participates in, regardless of their Training Path; and
  • Starting Zen Practice, which describes your first steps in Zen Buddhist practice.

Finally, we also have a brief Practice Resources page that may be helpful.