Ordinary Mind Zen

What is Zen?
Zen (in Chinese, Ch’an) is a form of Buddhist practice emphasizing meditation and the direct experience of enlightenment in everyday activity.

Zen is awakening to our true nature.

Our beginningless ancestors
- skilled at sounding the mysteries of the unfathomable Way -
they are deeply ordinary,
profoundly unremarkable
not standing out, merged with continuous practice
difficult to describe
- Tao Te Ching

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At Ordinary Mind Zen Sacramento we cultivate a path that is down-to-earth, centered in the heart of our daily life. We develop our enlightened nature by learning how to bring mindful clarity, intelligence, and love to our homes, our workplaces, our intimate relationships and our community.

We are committed to developing a non-hierarchical sangha. All sangha members are commoners - we hold the Dharma in common with each other. As lay people our practice is to return, again and again, to our original true home without clinging
to anything or pushing anything away.

We value our ancestors, recognize the importance of teachers, and celebrate the open minds of beginners. Any member willing to undergo the necessary training is eligible to fulfill all practice positions. We offer the Buddhist precepts to anyone who is willing to commit to a year-long study and practice program.

Practice Principles

Practice with heart
practice with beyond heart
practice even with half a heart.

You attain the marrow
and are invariably transmitted dharma
through your utmost sincerity
and trusting heart.
        - Eihei Dogen

Caught in a self-centered dream
- only suffering
Holding to self-centered thoughts
- exactly the dream
Each moment, life as it is
- the only teacher.
Being just this moment
- compassion's way.
        - Joko Beck