Soto Zen

The Buddha taught that all beings already have the same fundamental enlightened nature that he discovered, but we obscure it by believing and seeing only that we are separate, isolated beings.  This makes us needy.  We then tend to spend our lives trying to satisfy this need with possessions, authority, relationships, and the like.  However much we pursue our goals, improving and fixing things, a sense of dissatisfaction or unease remains.  Buddhism addresses this basic misunderstanding of our own nature.

The Zen school of Buddhism first emerged in China in about the 8th century.  In the 13th century, Great Master Dogen brought this form to Japan and it became know as Soto Zen.  All branches of Buddhism recognise the same root and trunk of Shakyamuni Buddha’s wisdom and teach that.  There are many ways in to find the Truth.

We use the phrase Zen training or Zen practice to indicate that something fairly specific is needed on our part in order to engage with Zen.  Nothing happens without a willingness and a readiness to give it a go.  One simple way to “test the water” is to attend an Introductory Evening at the Priory.  See Newcomers and Calendar.

A short background explanation of the activity of Zen practice is given in this dropdown menu, in “Serene Reflection Meditation” and “The  Precepts.”