Coming Soon

Open Palm School of Zen

 

 Over the past twenty years ZCLA has evolved a distinctive practice and culture, which is deeply rooted in the White Plum Lineage founded by Maezumi Roshi and informed by Bernie Glassman and our many Zen Ancestors. Out of this evolution, Roshi Egyoku felt that ZCLA can best serve the future by creating a school that clarifies ZCLA’s distinctive practice and culture.

 Roshi Egyoku began exploring the idea of creating a spiritual School in the Spring of 2018 and it continues to be developed with a small working group. The name of the School–Open Palm School of Zen (OPSZ)–is helping to guide the discussion. Open is the quality of intrinsic mind and also captures the spaciousness of ZCLA and the city of Los Angeles. Palm is for the mudras or palm positions we assume in practice, such as the cosmic mudra of zazen and the no-fear mudra of the garden Kanzeon. It is also a nod to the distinctive palm trees along Normandie Avenue. School captures the distinctive style or flavor of Zen practiced at ZCLA. The word ‘school’ is commonly used in this sense in the Zen tradition.

 OPSZ will clarify and set forth our practice culture and identify the primary practices and training paths. This will make explicit much of what we have already been doing where everything that we do is practice.

 A preliminary list of ZCLA’s core practices and training paths is as follows:

The Practices

Zazen

Face-to-face interview

Koan training

Buddhist and Zen Texts

Precepts

Council

Ceremony

Shared Stewardship

Relationship

Embodying

Peacemaking

 

The Training Paths

 

The Teacher Path

This path is entered only at the request of your teacher after a solid long-term Teacher-Student relationship. The student may be lay or priest. Formal training may culminate in Dharma Transmission, which empowers the student as a fully independent Zen Teacher.

The Preceptor Path

This path is entered only at the request of your teacher after a solid long-term Teacher-Student relationship. The student may be lay or priest. Formal training may culminate in Preceptor Transmission, which empowers a person as a fully independent Preceptor who can teach the Precepts, guide others in living the precepts, and give the Precepts in the ceremony of Jukai.

The Priest Path

A student may request of a transmitted priest to enter the priest training. Formal training may culminate in being empowered as a fully independent priest who can offer pastoral counseling and care and also perform all ceremonies, jukai, tokudo, weddings and funerals. This person can empower other people to be Priests.

The Mitra Path

The idea is to create a pathway for those whose main sphere of practice is work and activity in the world. This path is under development.

The Shared Stewardship Path 

The idea is create a pathway for those who are engaged in creating, maintaining, and sustaining the life of the Zen Center. It is open to all ZCLA members. This path is under development.

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