Olympia Zen Center Order of Ryokan
Olympia Zen Center is made up of a Sangha, a community, of lay people of all ages who live and work in the marketplace and who find their spiritual roots in Soto Zen Buddhism. Each one finds her or his way in the practice of meditation and community life, participating as much as their lives will permit. Sangha members are encouraged to practice Zazen (sitting meditation), study all the forms of training and practice, allow the spiritual to enter all their daily activities, so that they may come to understand what Dogen Zenji means when he says that there is no difference between a monk and a lay person.
Zazen is at the heart of all Zen practice. The practice of Zazen is encouraged at home as well as in community so that one may develop an interior strength to know, understand, and demonstrate their own spiritual stability. Zazen is like our morning food which we take to help sustain us through the day in work, difficulties, joys and the unexpected in life. Just as we cannot maintain the health of the body without appropriate nourishment, we cannot maintain spiritual health without the nourishment of a continuous practice of a spiritual nature.
By coming together for practice, Sangha help to support one another in their efforts to seek a better way to live, a way to bring greater awareness and mindfulness to their lives, a way to deepen and give meaning to their interactions and activities, a way to truly know the Self so they may lead more expanded lives of liberation.
As Sangha members deepen in practice, they often choose to receive the Precepts, the vow to live ethically and virtuously. The Transmission of the Buddha (Teacher), the Dharma (Teachings), and the Sangha (Community) is known as the Triple Treasure. We carry this Treasure with us in all our activities learning to sustain ourselves in the best possible way for this life here and now and for the benefit of all beings.
Sesshin Honoring Ryokan
Images from the novice priest Ordination Ceremony for Allyson Essen February 25, 2012
Images from Shuso Ceremony for Allyson Jozen Essen April 12, 2015
Images from Other Events
Lisa Breckenridge's Jukai
February 21, 2015
Rohatsu Sesshin 2014