We invite you to become a member of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. Our purpose is to offer Soto Zen meditation practice and its basic teachings to people of all religious faiths. The practice of meditation allows us to see beyond our one-sided perception of ourselves and the world, so that we are able to participate in society with clarity and peace. We are a lay residential practice center and a non-profit organization relying on membership dues, guest practice programs, Zen programs and contributions to sustain our operating cost.
Three categories of membership: Practicing membership is for those who are supportive of the Zen Center, want to strengthen their meditation practice by attending our Saturday Community practice and sesshins as much as possible, interested in receiving precepts the third year, want to partake in zendo practice positions and wish to help in our activities whenever possible. This includes committed practitioners from out-of-state. General membership is for those who enjoy the Saturday Community practice, Study Groups, who want to attend any upcoming programs, workshops or events and want to be part of the larger Sangha of practitioners. Supporting membership is for those who wish to support the Zen Center but who may live out of this area or whose lives may not allow them to actively practice here now.
Practicing and General members receive our quarterly newsletter Mountain Wind, attend Saturday Community practice free of charge, have access to Zen books and tapes in our library, receive a 10% discount at the Zen Dust store as well as considerable discounts on all our Zen programs. To deepen their practice, Roshi encourages members to join us for early morning and/or evening meditation Tuesday through Saturday.
PRACTICING MEMBERS contribute a $35 monthly fee and are encouraged to attend at least 2 Saturday Community practices per month (5:15 a.m.-noon), 2 one-day sittings, at least 1 sesshin a year, Workfests, have interviews with Kwong-rosh at least every three months and are encouraged to participate in Ango practice periods in February and August. Study Group is encouraged particularly in the first year. After a two-month waiting period, Practicing members will receive a discount on sesshins ($40/day), guest stays ($40/day), Study Group ($50) and Friday overnights (dormitory-style accommodations) for Saturday Community practice are free. After three years of consistent practice, they will be invited to receive precepts and a Buddhist name in the Jukai ceremony.
GENERAL MEMBERS contribute a $20 monthly fee and are encouraged to attend at least 2 Saturday Community practices (10:30-noon or 5:15 a.m.-noon) each month, 1 one-day sitting per year, Workfest, the spring or fall Study Group and have an interview with Kwong-roshi every three months. After a two-month waiting period, General members will receive a discount on sesshins and one-day sittings ($50/day), guest stays ($45/day), Study Group ($55) and Friday overnights (dormitory-style accommodations) for Saturday Community practice are free.
SUPPORTING MEMBERS contribute $120 annually as friends and supporters of the Zen Center and are invited to practice here as their lives allow. Supporting members receive 6 Friday overnights (dormitory-style accommodations with 6:00 p.m. dinner Friday evening) to attend our Saturday Community practice which includes meditation, chanting, breakfast, meditation instruction or work-practice, Dharma talk and a buffet lunch. In addition, Supporting members will receive Mountain Wind, SMZC's quarterly newsletter and the opportunity to meet with Kwong-roshi and Shinko, the head of practice.