Mission Statement

The Mission of the Red Cedar Zen Community (RCZC) is to promote the practice of Soto Zen meditation and to provide a range of experiences, ceremonies, and educational events inspired and informed by the teachings of Soto Zen Buddhism.

Core Values of the Sangha

We support practice Soto Zen in the style of Shunryu Suzuki with a spirit of cooperation, extending the essence of Buddha’s teachings into everyday life.

We take refuge in Buddha. We see the Buddha nature of all beings.

Our sangha’s inspiration is the bodhisattva path, and we are committed to being guided by the bodhisattva precepts, to living by vow and precept. Our core values support us in this practice.

1. Beings are numberless, I vow to save them. [*]

Service – We practice Zen as a way of serving the world. We practice so that others may practice. We practice for the benefit of all beings, and for the natural world upon which all life depends.

Generosity – We value generosity, considering others before ourselves. In making sangha decisions and life decisions, we consider what works best over what we personally desire.

Practical, daily practice We are committed to putting the precepts into daily action.

2. Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

Humility – We practice humility, realizing that our understanding of the dharma will never be complete.

Experience – We honor experience in life and practice. We honor the teachings, the teacher, and the student.

Diversity – We value diversity. Thus we honor each person’s spiritual practice, and we respect each other’s understanding.

3. Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.

Openness – Everything is a dharma gate.

Support – We work with our resistance to practice in its many forms, seeking to deepen our understanding, supporting each other through this practice.

Humor – Above all, maintain a sense of humor. That might be the one thing that will get us, and all beings, through to that other shore!

4. Buddha’s way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it.

Awakening – We value the awakening process and recognize that every moment can be a deep awakening.

Patience – Inspired by our ancestors in the dharma, we value patience, continuing the practice steadily, realizing that Zen is a life-long activity.

[*] The four numbered vows are the Bodhisattva vows of Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhisattvas are enlightening beings who are completely dedicated to serving all beings. The Bodhisattva is the archetype and goal of our style of practice.

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