Our practice is centered on zazen, the seated meditation practice central to the Soto Zen tradition. This is a practice of whole-hearted sitting (shikan taza) that was handed down through generations of teachers and students in India, China, and Japan. For our sangha, this tradition was passed down from Eihei Dogen, first ancestor of the Soto Zen lineage in Japan, through Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, then through Darlene Cohen, who began her practice at the San Francisco Zen Center and later led our sangha for 15 years.
“The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the dharma-gate of repose and bliss, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the manifestation of ultimate reality. Traps and snares can never reach it. Once its heart is grasped, you are like a dragon gaining the water, like a tiger taking to the mountains. For you must know that just there (in zazen) the right dharma is manifesting itself and that from the first dullness and distraction are struck aside.”
Eihei Dogen – “Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen”