Why Practice Zen?

We practice Zen in order to experience true joy and freedom – freedom from the multitude of things that make us unhappy, frustrated, disappointed, stressed, anxious, angry or depressed. Freedom from the pain we experience when unexpected events suddenly occur. Freedom from the endless obstacles set up by our relentless thinking.

We practice Zen in order to realize that who we are is not our thoughts. Who we are is not our emotions, feelings, views or opinions. We practice Zen in order to recognize what is illusion, and what is Truth, and have the wisdom to distinguish between the two. Or, as the Buddha said, we practice in order to awaken to our True Nature, to experience freedom from human suffering.

How do we achieve this freedom? By coming to know our mind, and the true, fundamental nature of our mind. The fundamental nature of our mind is to be silent, empty, and aware. That silent, empty awareness is always there, even in the midst of the most chaotic upheavals we experience in our life, even in the midst of our most intense suffering. It never leaves us, never disappears. It is a place of freedom from the chaos. We simply have not yet learned to become conscious of it, to connect with it, to be it.

This is why we practice Zen, to realize the silent awareness that is who we really are. Within that silent awareness is great love, compassion, wisdom, and freedom from suffering.

If you believe in your heart that it is possible to awaken to the fundamental nature of who you are, and you are willing to apply sincere, honest dedication to your practice, then you are welcome to join our spiritual community.