There is a reality even prior to heaven and earth;
Indeed, it has no form, much less a name;
Eyes fail to see it;
it has no voice or ears to detect;
To call it mind or Buddha violates its nature,
For it then becomes like a visionary flower in the air;
It is not Mind, nor Buddha;
absolutely quiet, and yet illuminating in a mysterious way.
Dai O Kokushi
Sacramento Zendo is a meditation practice community with a focus on awakening to and manifesting this Heart/Mind that is the root-source of our lives. We meet each Monday evening, to meditate together, to study together, and to share in this practice together.
Sitting zen meditation and meditative inquiry are at the heart of what we offer and practice at Sacramento Zendo. Ongoing instruction in developing concentration, koan practice, and meditative inquiry is available from the teacher. All meditation practice begins by learning how to settle our chattering mind. Using the breath as an anchor we discover how to give ourselves completely to the breath. With all our senses wide open we learn how to relax from this deep ground and rest in just one breath. In time this sustained, attentive, yet relaxed awareness naturally extends into our daily activities and we discover what it is to rest in and as each moment of this vast life as it effortlessly arises.
Once a student has developed some stability of mind and concentration then if they wish they they may take up a practice that cultivates deep insight into their awakened-nature, such as koan practice, or working with their own naturally arising life question.
“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti
The teacher at Sacramento Zendo is Desmond Gando Gilna. Desmond began his Zen practice over 30 years ago. Before traveling to Japan to pursue Zen training full-time he studied in the Theravada tradition living at Amaravati Buddhist monastery for 2 years practicing with Ajahn Sumedho and the sangha there. His Zen training includes 14 years of residential monastic training both in Japan and the US, studying with Harada Tangen Roshi at Bukkoku-ji and John Daido Loori Roshi at Zen Mountain Monastery, along with many years of lay practice. He completed his formal koan training with James Myoun Ford Roshi and in 2013 was authorized to work with students through the complete koan curriculum.
If it is your very first time coming to a Zen group and you are unfamiliar with meditation please contact us so we can arrange for you to have an introduction to practice. All who are interested in learning more about Zen practice and meditative inquiry are welcome.