Curriculum

Beginning students will be introduced to the sitting posture and to the meditation practice of breath counting, both aspects of zazen meditation. Within approximately six months to a year, the student will either be assigned a koan (a meditative problem to "solve") or shikantaza (bare attention meditation), which will formalize the student-teacher relationship. At this point, students will be expected to discuss their practice plans with the teacher (e.g., seeing other Zen teachers and/or attending other Zen retreats). After an initial realization experience, the student will be guided through the following koan collections:

a) Introductory Koans
b) Mumonkan
c) Hekiganroku
d) Shoyoroku
e) Selections from Rinzairoku, Joshuroku, and Unmonroku
f) The Ten Buddhist Precepts

Upon completion of this curriculum, the teacher will present the student with a "Certificate of Completion" which will list the works completed, the date of completion, and both the student's and teacher's names. This is not a document of 'transmission'. Rather, it enables the Zen practitioner to provide the necessary credentials for a prospective teaching position. We believe that renouncing any form of "religious transmission" protects Zen students from arbitrary appointments and helps prevent Zen teachers from indulging in yet another illusion of permanence.

numeric black and white drawing of zen stones by F.Cecconi / Vorzinek