Bloom Community

Waking Up in the Middle of Everything: Zen for Today

  • Hosted by The Alembic
  • Berkeley, CA -

In this drop-in class, we study the practices and the accompanying conceptual frameworks that are, essentially, the mind and body of Zen.

The Zen School, as passed down to us from China via Japan, takes a unique view on the possibility of living an exemplary life in the here-and-now that is awake, alive, and completely human, as well as embodying the vows that underlie all Mahayana Buddhist schools. In this ongoing class we will study the practices and the accompanying conceptual frameworks that are, essentially, the mind and body of Zen.

More specifically, we will engage in actual Zen meditative practice, both sitting and walking, with particular attention to the details and the appropriate amount of guidance. In a series of talks, we will also review the classical literature of Zen, including the Song Dynasty koan collections and the writings of Japanese Soto Zen founder Eihei Dogen. There will be plenty of opportunity for dialog, group discussion, and explanation.

Anshi Zachary Smith

Anshi Daigi Zachary Smith has been practicing Zen since 1993. He took jukai (lay ordination) in 1995, was shuso (Head Student) in 2007, ordained as a Zen priest in 2014 and received Dharma Transmission on April 17, 2019, all with former abbot and Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller. He currently directs North Mountain Zendo, a zazenkai (sitting) group in North Beach and is a regular and frequent teacher at SFZC's City Center.

In addition to his involvement with Zen, Zachary is a husband, a father of four, a (mostly retired) engineer, a musician, a bike fanatic, and an avid but mediocre poet. He may be the only person in the history of Zen in the West to have interrupted a residential practice period to tour with a rock band.

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