Lotus in the Flame Temple
The Lotus in the Flame Temple is a sacred space for Zen practice and training. It exists to provide authentic Zen training to any and all interested persons, with the ultimate goal of realizing our inherent nature, and the integration of this realization into every aspect of life. As a lay center, the Lotus in the Flame Temple is a place of Zen practice and training for people with homes, families and careers in the world. At this time, there is no monastic program at the center.
Zen Buddhism is evolving into a "western" style of practice, but the Lotus in the Flame Sangha takes great care to maintain the authenticity of the Zen tradition and to remain true to its ancient roots. A variety of training opportunities are available depending on an individuals level of aspiration. It is not necessary to become a Buddhist to benefit from the calming and centering effects of Zen practice. Anyone is welcome to practice within our tradition regardless of religious affiliation, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
The Lotus in the Flame Temple maintains an ongoing schedule of practice events including:
- zazen (Zen meditation);
- teisho (Zen talks by the teacher);
- dokusan (private instruction with the teacher);
- zazenkai (all-day meditation);
- sesshin (2 to 7-day meditation retreats);
- samu (work as meditation);
- liturgy practice (chanting, ceremonies and devotional forms);
- mindfulness practice (Every-Minute Zen);
- community service and social functions.
Anyone over eighteen who is personally interested in learning Zen meditation may attend an instruction session held one Tuesday and one Thursday evening a month from 6:45 to 8:30 PM or attend either a weekend seminar or introductory four week class offered several times a year. After having received instruction one is welcome to attend all of the formal meditation periods held at the Zen Center providing you follow the meditation forms carefully.
A suggested donation of $5 to help support the Zen Center is requested for the initial Tuesday or Thursday evening instruction session and a donation of one’s own choosing is requested thereafter when attending meditation at the Zen Center. The donation box is in the foyer. More information about getting involved can be found in the Getting Started section.
A more thorough introduction to Zen practice and training at the ZCD is found through our Introductory Seminars on Zen Buddhism. These one-and-a-half day events are conducted several times a year. We also offer a four week series covering the same material with a weekly opportunity for practice together. Both formats include lectures about Zen Buddhism, question-and-answer periods, detailed zazen instruction and zazen practice. Completing a seminar or class is the first step in becoming a member of the center, and opens up more practice and training opportunities. Information about membership can be found in the Membership section.
A Thousand Hands Unlimited
Compassion is central to all Buddhist teaching, pervading our relationships with other people, animals, the environment, and society. Taking the image of the thousand hands of Avalokiteshvara (also known as Kannon or Kuan-yin), the bodhisattva of compassion, A Thousand Hands Unlimited exists to facilitate the extension of wisdom and compassion into the larger community by providing opportunities for engaged Buddhist practice. Over the years, participants in A Thousand Hands Unlimited have shown particular interest in issues of peace, social justice and environmentalism, and participated in a variety of charitable activities, including prison outreach that provides correspondence and aid to incarcerated individuals seeking instruction in Zen.