Core Values


The Zen Center’s mission is to provide the training and resources for realizing the oneness of life, to maintain the precepts, and to embody the Three Tenets of Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Taking Action. We provide the teaching, training, and transmission of Zen Buddhism.


Our vision is an enlightened world free of suffering in which all beings live in harmony with each other and the earth, everyone has enough, deep wisdom is realized and compassion flows unhindered.


We take responsibility for creating a strong foundation to protect the Dharma.
Specifically, we will:

  1. take care of our buildings and grounds
  2. provide safety and security
  3. maintain financial stability
  4. nurture close and healthy relationships within the sangha
    We will:

    1. be disciplined and orderly according to established guidelines for community living
    2. extend ourselves to all others politely and with respect
    3. handle difficulties with calm and perseverance
    4. address conflicts with balance and evenness
    5. act to support one another physically and emotionally, especially in times of need
  5. maintain a healthy and effective organization
    We will:

    1. freely disseminate and receive information regarding the operations of the Center
    2. employ sound management practices in our day-to-day operations
    3. recognize the traditions of our lineage
    4. create training paths and liturgy
    5. practice environmental responsibility

We contribute to the peace of the world by striving to fulfill our mission and vision.
Specifically, we will:

  1. take responsibility that everyone is treated equally
  2. use our unique gifts and skills in the service of others
  3. help to create a climate of mutual trust and confidence in which all can speak and listen from the heart
  4. honor diversity and actively welcome all people, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background
  5. interface with other religious traditions
  6. be open to and foster innovations in forms and styles of practice
  7. expand our expression through ceremony, arts, media and ritual
  8. laugh at our own imperfections
  9. make amends and learn from our mistakes
  10. practice generosity
  11. practice non-attachment
  12. seek simplicity
  13. develop policies and practices that promote environmental stewardship
  14. practice collective responsibility and shared stewardship
  15. seek collective wisdom
  16. give and receive feedback
  17. create beauty

We pursue the Enlightened Way and promote global harmony.
Specifically, we will:

  1. practice zazen
  2. maintain the precepts
  3. serve others
  4. live the truth of interconnectedness
  5. care for and nurture the natural world and all its creatures
  6. fulfill the Four Great Bodhisattva Vows

We are committed to the core practices of the Five Sphere Buddha Mandala:

  • Atonement: taking responsibility for our own cause and effect
  • Council: speaking and listening from the heart
  • Fushinzamu: working together on a common project
  • Koans: inquiring into the nature of life
  • Precepts: abstaining from evil, cultivating goodness, and acting for the benefit of others
  • Ritual: practicing liturgy and ceremony
  • Shadow Work: reclaiming our projections and repressed energies
  • Shared Stewardship: co-creating with one another
  • Study and Scholarship: continuous learning and unlearning
  • Sociocratic method: decision-making by transparency, circle organization, and elections by consent
  • Three Tenets: not knowing, bearing witness, and loving action
  • Zazen: appreciating life as it is



Core documents of ZCLA PDF