Berkeley Buddhist Priory

Berkeley Buddhist Priory is located in the City of Berkeley in Northern California. It is a Buddhist temple following the tradition of Serene Reflection Meditation, which was known as Soto Zen in Japan and Ts’ao-Tung (Chan) in China. The teaching and practice emphasize meditation, guiding one’s lives by the moral Precepts of Buddhism, awakening the heart of compassion, and expressing it through selfless activity in everyday life. The Priory was established in 1973. It offers a regular schedule of meditation, Dharma classes, Buddhist services, and day-retreats, as well as spiritual guidance. It also offers meditation instruction and workshops for beginners. There are no fees for participating in above activities or any other services that the Priory offers. Like other affiliated temples of OBC, the Priory is financially independent; we are supported entirely by donations of our congregation and friends.

Reverend Master Jiyu-KennettThe Order of Buddhist Contemplatives was founded in 1978 by Rev. Master P.T.N.H. Jiyu-Kennett, a Buddhist Master in the Serene Reflection Meditation (Soto Zen) tradition. Born in England in 1924, Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett became a Buddhist in the Theravada tradition. She was later introduced to Rinzai Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki in London where she held membership in, and lectured at, the London Buddhist Society. She studied at Trinity College of Music, London, where she was awarded a Fellowship and obtained the degree of Bachelor of Music from Durham University.

The Serene Reflection Meditation (Soto Zen) tradition is the oldest tradition extant within Zen Buddhism. It was brought from China and introduced into Japan by Great Master Dogen in the 13th century. This teaching stresses the practice of meditation, the necessity of keeping the Buddhist Precepts, and the unity of training and enlightenment. Although the external form of Buddhist practice has changed and adapted to each particular culture as Buddhism moved from India, to China, to Japan and now to the West, the essence of the Buddha’s teaching remains unchanged. The Buddhist training in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives continues as part of this unbroken religious tradition.

Website: www.berkeleybuddhistpriory.org

References:

berkeleybuddhistpriory.org

Vajrapani Institute

Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture is a California Tibetan Buddhist retreat center located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Boulder Creek, California, USA. The Institute is set in 70 acres of spectacular redwood forest. Being quiet and remote, but also relatively close to major cities and airports, Vajrapani is an ideal setting for solitary private meditation retreat, group retreats, and conferences. Vajrapani is an extremely blessed setting and has been visited over the years by many Holy Beings including a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1989. As a result of this, institute provide a rare and sacred space for spiritual healing and growth.

Lama-Yeshe-and-Lama-ZopaVajrapani Institute is a California Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center, founded in 1977 by Lama Thubten Yeshe, his heart disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and a group of extremely dedicated students. The Institute is affiliated with the (FPMT) Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, a world-wide organization of over 130 retreat centers, teaching centers, monasteries, nunneries, hospices, schools, and publishing houses.

According to Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy, the state of full spiritual enlightenment is characterized by three qualities: limitless compassion, limitless wisdom, and limitless skillful means. Vajrapani (depicted left) is the Buddha of Skillful Means. He represents the ability to enter into any situation, no matter how unpromising, and transform it into a path of spiritual fulfillment and benefit for all. Because he conquers the forces of harm and negativity without mercy, he is depicted as wrathful.

Website: www.vajrapani.org

References:

What is Vajrapani – vajrapani.org

Vajrapani Institute – retreatfinder.com

Dhamma Mahavana California Vipassana Center

The California Vipassana Center, in North Fork, CA, is dedicated to the practice of Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. The center is in the Sierra foothills south of Yosemite. It is a four hour drive from San Francisco and a five hour drive from Los Angeles, with bus, rail, and air connections an hour away in Fresno. Stands of oak, pine, cedar, and manzanita occupy the bulk of the 109-acre site, and are complemented by a tranquil pond and a broad meadow. Wildlife abounds. A newly constructed meditation hall accommodates up to 120 students; other recent additions include a teachers’ residence and accommodations for meditators working long-term at the center.

SN-Goenka_Ruth-SenturiaMr. Goenka was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma). While living there, he had the good fortune to come into contact with Sayagyi U Ba Khin and to learn the technique of Vipassana from him. After receiving training from his teacher for 14 years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. In a country still sharply divided by differences of caste and religion, the courses offered by Mr. Goenka soon attracted thousands of people from every part of society.

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.

Website: www.dhamma.org

References:

About Dhamma Mahavana – mahavana.dhamma.org

Mr. S.N. Goenka – dhamma.org

Sakya Monastery Seattle

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism is a place to learn from highly qualified Tibetan lamas in a traditional setting. The Monastery occupies a beautiful renovated building, which houses a pristine example of a Tibetan Buddhist shrine that is one of only a few in North America. It is located in Seattle’s Greenwood district near the intersection of Greenwood Avenue North and North 85th Street. While called a monastery, it is primarily a lay community of practitioners, with various levels of experience in the Buddhist tradition. It is led by its founder, his Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. He is a head lama of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s four main Schools.

Sakya RinpocheHis Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya was born in 1929 in Sakya, Tibet. He was educated to be the head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the successor to the throne of Sakya, the third most important political position in Tibet in early times. But the Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet, and the peril that ensued, precipitated his departure from the world his family had known for generations, and led him to a new role as a leader in the transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

The purpose of the Monastery is to share and preserve Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture. It does this through the promotion of Buddhist teachings and practices and by upholding Tibetan customs and traditions. Since the purpose of the Buddha’s teaching, as practiced in Tibet, is to develop loving-kindness and compassion, the main meditation practices at the Monastery focus on the cultivation of these qualities.

Website: www.sakya.org

References:

Welcome to Sakya Monastery – sakya.org

Jigdal Dagchen Sakya – wikipedia.org

Odiyan Retreat Center

Odiyan Copper Mountain Mandala was founded in 1975 by ven­er­a­ble Tarthang Tulku Rin­poche. It is an all-volunteer, non-profit retreat center. Odiyan property consists of a thousand acres of ridges and meadows located 1,400 feet above the level of the Pacific Ocean in northern California. Odiyan provides a stable foundation for a wholesome life of physical work, community involvement and personal development. Extraordinary natural beauty, fresh air, clean water and nutritious food foster appreciation for life and develop attitudes of true caring for ourselves, others and our planet.

Tarthang_Tulku_RinpocheRinpoche was born in in the mountains of Golok in the far northeast of Tibet as the son of Sogpo Tulku, Pema Gawey Dorje (b. 1894), a highly respected physician and holder of the Nyingma Vidyadhara lineage. Before Rinpoche was two years old, he was recognized and given the name Kunga Gellek by the Sutrayana and Mantrayana master, Tragyelung Tsultrim Dargye (b. 1866), who made predictions about Rinpoche’s future mission as a servant of the Dharma, and instructed his parents in the special treatment of young tulkus.

At Odiyan, participants preserve the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for the benefit of all humanity, merging this with the opportunity to develop inner potential. The way of life focuses on dedication to meaningful work and utilizes work and daily life as a vehicle of self-knowledge. A celebration of the human potential that belongs to us all, a home for the Dharma in the West, the traditional temples and libraries of Odiyan restore and preserve the ancient symbols, rare sacred texts and art that connect the heart and mind to the Path of Awakening.

Website: www.odiyan.org

References:

Odiyan Land – odiyan.org

Our Founder – dharmapublishing.com

Austin Zen Center

Established in 2000, Austin Zen Center was founded to carry on the warm-hearted teaching of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, as recorded in his well-known book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. The Austin Zen Center community offers a haven of peace and harmony in which to engage in the arduous task of self-discovery through Zen practice. Welcoming diversity, the practice of zazen is available to people of every race, religion, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and physical ability. Austin Zen Center is affiliated with San Antonio Zen CenterSan Francisco Zen CenterBrooklyn Zen Center and Houston Zen Center.

SuzukiPortraitweb-300x300Suzuki Roshi’s teaching follows the Soto Zen tradition brought from China to Japan in the thirteenth century by Zen master Eihei Dogen. Shunryu Suzuki was born on May 18, 1904, Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan; was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia.

 

The Soto school of Zen has all the formality and discipline of other schools of Zen, but is particularly characterized by its patient and tender-hearted approach to practice. When the mind of zazen is lovingly extended to everyday life, our awareness of each moment increases and deep wisdom and compassion are born. Austin Zen Center offers many opportunities to practice Zen Buddhism.

Website Link: Austin Zen Center

References:

About AZC – austinzencenter.org