Place Category: Spiritual Resources
We are a center for contemporary Zen practice, inquiry, and study. Our name comes from a Pali word, appamada, that means mindful, active care. According to the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha, it was a common theme in his teaching and his last word, encouraging his followers to fare forward with appamada—with energetic care. He often compared appamada to an elephant’s footprint, which is so large that it can contain the footprint of all the other animals. In the same way, the Buddha said, appamada—mindful, clear care—contains all of his other teachings.
We have adopted this name for our community of practice and inquiry because it reflects not only our aspiration as teachers, but our sense of the community as a whole, and its contribution in the world. (You can learn more about the name here.) Our practice follows the tradition of the American Zen teachers Joko Beck and Shunryu Suzuki. In our teaching we draw on the Zen teachings and tradition we were trained in, as well as other Buddhist teachings and contemporary work in psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, language, the sciences of complexity and ecosystems, the arts, community, and philosophy.
Zazen—meditation in silence and stillness—study, and shared inquiry are at the heart of everything we do, and everything we teach. Through your participation and sincere practice you help create this community for deep inquiry into our lives and the timeless wisdom and compassion of the Buddha. This realization permeates the world through our everyday actions, words, and thoughts. Our community is connected not by ritual, dogma, or obligation, but by our aspiration and mutual care. Together we cultivate this dynamic process of waking up and growing up for the benefit of all beings.
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