Our Practice

Zen is rooted in the Buddhist tradition which has been praticed for over 2,500 years. The traditions of Zen have been passed down through India, China, Korea and Japan and have influenced and been influenced by each culture. Our contemporary practice utilizes several of these traditional forms which are evident in the appearance of the meditation room (zendo), as well as in our practice of seated meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), bowing and chanting. However, in Zen these forms are understood as “skillful means” to help us in cultivating awareness, not as traditional forms of reverence or worship.

In Zen there is nothing outside, no other, to be sought or worshipped. There are no doctrines or belief systems. There is only the direct and immediate experience of our true nature manifesting in this present moment. The mind and heart when open and free transcend all definitions and boundaries. Zen meditation does not prescribe visualization or attainment of special states of consciousness, but simply seeing our everyday mind and everyday life as not separate from universal mind, inner experience as not separate from outer, self as not separate from other….


The ultimate purpose of spiritual practice, universally awakened heart/mind, cannot be set apart from our own inherent being and our immediate, moment-to-moment awareness. The entire practice rests on faith, verified in experience, that the field of vast brightness is ours from the outset.

—Taigen Leighton
on Hongzhi