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Serene Reflection Meditation (Soto Zen) is a tradition that is part of Mahayana Buddhism, the branch of Buddhism that emphasizes the way of the Bodhisattva.
This teaching embodies:
The practice of meditation (Zazen).
The teaching that all beings have Buddha Nature. All are fundamentally pure; out of ignorance we create suffering, thereby obscuring our real nature.
Keeping the Bodhisattva Precepts of Mahayana Buddhism, both in outward interactions and relationships as well as in the inner practice of purifying our mind.
Our practice of meditation, (shikantaza, 'just simply doing one's sitting'), is neither deliberately thinking about anything, nor deliberately not thinking about anything. This is the foundation of our religious practice: discovering the Truth directly for ourselves. In meditation, we open our hearts to the "Source of Great Compassion" and learn how to gently accept and embrace ourselves and the world. Profound transformation becomes possible when we stop judging and simply see things as they are.
The tradition of Serene Reflection Meditation also embodies understanding of the fundamental Buddhist teachings of karma, rebirth, impermanence, non-self, and Nirvana: the actualization of Buddha Nature in everyday life.
This tradition, known as Ts'ao-Tung Ch'an in China and Soto Zen in Japan, traces its history back to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The master-disciple lineage of Shakyamuni was carried by the Indian monk Bodhidharma to China in the 6th century C.E. (Common Era) and spread widely under the influence of the Sixth Chinese Ancestor, Hui Neng. The lineage continued on to Japan through the efforts of the young Japanese monk Eihei Dogen in the 13th century and was further developed by Keizan Jokin a century later.
Shasta Abbey, located on 16 forested acres near Mount Shasta in Northern California (USA), is a training monastery for Buddhist monks and a place of practice for lay Buddhists and interested visitors. A monastery of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, it was established in 1970 by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett, a British woman, on behalf of her teacher, Keido Chisan Koho Zenji, her Master in Japan.
Order of Buddhist Contemplatives.
The OBC is an international monastic order of men and women, who, together with lay ministers of the Order and their congregations and affiliated meditation groups, are dedicated to practicing the Serene Reflection Meditation tradition of Buddhism, also called Soto Zen. Please visit their website to learn more about their organization, their practice and the Buddhadharma.
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