Involvement in the Toronto Zen Centre is open to all people regardless of age, race, national origin, creed, sex, or sexual orientation.
Zen training, while arising out of the Buddhist tradition, can serve as a valuable adjunct to any religion. The practice of Zen meditation can act to calm and center the mind, consequently promoting stability, mindfulness, and clarity. Thus it can become a valuable aid in dealing with the stresses and challenges of everyday life.
Whether you are completely new to Buddhism or you already have a spiritual practice and are curious about formal practice at the Toronto Zen Centre, the way to get started is to first attend an Introductory Workshop.
- If you are curious about Buddhism—Workshops give an overview of the life of the Buddha and the development of the Buddhist Path.
- If you want to learn how to meditate—Workshops have in-depth instruction in the postures, practices, and forms of Zen meditation (zazen).
- If you are new to Zen and looking for support—Workshops introduce you to the teacher and community of the Toronto Zen Centre.
- If you are experienced in Zen and looking for a place to practice—Workshops are our most thorough point of entry. By coming to a Workshop you have taken the first step to formal participation in the Toronto Zen Centre.
After Attending a Workshop
After attending an Introductory Workshop, you are eligible to participate in a complementary, month-long program called trial membership. During this period, you may attend as many formal sittings & scheduled events as you wish. Weekly events include things like chanting services, ceremonies, work periods, and private instruction with the teacher. After this trial period, if you wish to continue to come to formal sittings and events, you may apply for full membership.
Making an Orientation Appointment:
Please let us know at least 48 hours in advance of the first formal sitting you wish to attend. This is so that arrangements can be made for a
senior member to provide you with instruction and orientation to formal sittings.
On occasion, the Centre is closed for holidays or sesshin retreats, so it's important to contact the office
(weekdays only) before arriving. Please see our Contact Page.
After orientation and instruction, you will
then join others in the zendo (meditation room) before the sitting begins. Once you have
received an orientation, you may attend the regular weekly sittings and formal events as often as you wish, for the duration of your trial membership. The person in charge of the sitting—called the monitor—can help you with
any questions you might have before or after a formal sitting.
Getting Started Reading
There are many excellent books on Buddhism and Zen. We have a short reading list to get you started.