Ordinary Mind Sacramento Guidelines

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These preliminary guidelines are offered by Robert Rosenbaum for discussion.
As the sangha develops, they will naturally evolve.

Deeply Ordinary
All forms of Zen see the dharma realized in everyday activity.
We emphasize ordinary activity
is the dharma.
      Family life, work, play, our relationships with people and the world which sustains us - these are our Buddha fields.
Laying down a path by walking
Our practice is alive. It changes in response to circumstances.
      We make mistakes. We get stuck. These are the pivot points for our practice. Our community arises from our practice, and our practice supports our sangha.
Home Sweet Home
At OMZ alll sangha members are commoners - we hold the Dharma in common with each other.
      We do not leave home to practice. Our practice is to return, again and again, to our original true home without clinging to anything or pushing anything away.

Nothing Special, Nothing Hidden
There is no “more” or “less” to devotion. Everyone has full access to the dharma. Everyone is a teacher, everyone is a student. We approach each other from a standpoint of non-hierarchical equality, while also acknowledging the value of teacher-student relationships.
      All members of the sangha can receive training to fill any of the sangha positions and to conduct ceremonies. It is not necessary to receive lay ordination or priest ordination to participate fully,
Minding Mind
Mind is ungraspable. Mindfulness is full engagement.
      Meditation helps us touch Original Mind: unconditioned, unborn, undying. This very mind is the enlightened basis of our practice.
      Our conditioned mind reflects our individual experience. Psychological insight and behavior change help us cope with this conditioning.
      Original Mind and conditioned mind fit together like foot before and foot behind in walking.
Precepts
Practicing the Buddhist precepts helps promote a harmonious, satisfying life together with all we encounter. We approach the precepts not as fixed moral commandments but as koans, which challenge us to figure out how to express them in the specific circumstances of everyday life.
      We encourage everyone, when they are ready, to study and take the precepts formally in a ceremony with the sangha.
Practice is not Preparation
We do not meditate to become enlightened - we meditate as an expression of the enlightenment we share with all being.
      Our forms give us a space in which to practice, a way to share together what we do in the zendo. We follow the forms whole-heartedly while letting go of judgments of self or other.
      Zazen and all we do in the Zendo are complete in themselves. They are not exercises in self-improvement. Zazen and Zendo practice's being-in-itself reminds us to return to
just this in all our activities.
Every where, Every when
We offer a place where people can meditate regularly; we encourage daily meditation because it provides us with a foundation for our lives. But Ordinary Mind practice is continuous: it is not restricted to a schedule here but not there, confined to some times but not others.
      Meditation on the cushion helps us touch our enlightened nature. Our daily activities are where we put our enlightenment in play.
Zazen Instructions

Eihei Dogen wrote in Genjo Koan ("Actualizing the Fundamental Point"):

When you find your place where you are
practice occurs
actualizing the fundamental point.


When you find your way at this moment
practice occurs
actualizing the fundamental point.

For the place, the way
is neither large nor small
neither yours nor others'
has not carried over from the past
and it is not merely arising now.