Stepping Forward fundraising drive

As the Zen Centre of Vancouver nears its 50th anniversary, we’ve launched a fund-raising drive to pay off the last of our mortgage (approximately C$85,000, 5% of the property value) before it comes up for renewal in June 2016. Free of the burden of mortgage payments we can establish residential programs, especially for younger practitioners, gain financial security, and be ready for further growth.

As you know, the centre has helped hundreds of Canadians, introducing them to Zen practice and offering a wide array of daily programs and residential retreats. Everyone who’s come to the centre over the years has benefitted in some measure: some simply gaining a brief introduction to meditation that may ring a bell years in the future; others finding a lifelong commitment to cultivate their authentic self, freeing their potential to play a more beneficial role with family, friends, and as a responsible citizen of this earth. The centre wishes to continue helping newer generations.

We invite you to support our mortgage retirement fund in whatever measure you can. All donations big and small are welcome, and are fully tax deductible.

See this pdf brochure for more details and how to donate. Thank you.

Please share this information with friends, co-workers or family that could be interested. Printed brochures are available at the centre.

The form of our practice at the Zen Centre of Vancouver, like others across North America, has evolved over time; indeed the whole history of Zen is one of change. The form changed when it came from India to China and surrounding countries. While the form has changed, the essential teaching remains clear and timeless.

The basic change to our form since Sasaki Roshi first came to Vancouver 50 years, is a gradual evolution away from the traditional Japanese residential monastic model Roshi knew best. About half the chants are now done in English, zendo customs have been simplified, corrections are far less severe, introductions to newcomers are more detailed and inviting, yoga exercise has been introduced into the weeklong retreats, and so forth. It is now time to consider the relevance of ordainment in a lay city centre with lay city people.

Using the format of a listening circle, the sangha met on Saturday June 6 to share thoughts on the possibility of revising our customs to work more effectively for Westerns practicing in a city Zen centre. By consensus we decided not to change anything immediately, but to conduct further listening circles, closely examining one custom at a time for a month or so. Except during retreats, the discussions will take place each Saturday and Sunday at the start of refreshments and on the first Thursday each month (replacing the usual zazen evening). People would also be encouraged during refreshments to ask questions about practice and share their own experiences. Listening circles cultivate collective wisdom by allowing people to hear and learn from one another.