moon gate pergola by NCDunham

About Open Door Zen Community


Open Door Zen Community honors the understanding of life’s reality: all is impermanent; everything comes and goes. Zazen – meditation in silence and stillness – is at the heart of everything we do. Our community offers practice opportunities to care for and support its members in cultivating hearts and minds that remain open to Buddha’s wisdom, and to help each other wake up and grow up. Together, we seek to integrate Zen practice with everyday life, awakening to our true Buddha nature of compassion and insight. All are welcome.

Through doors we come and we go. Everything comes and goes. Because we are alive, we can rest in stillness and silence, with mindful attention to this coming and going. In the process, we cultivate Presence, the deep gift of practice. Our practice is not to step out of life, to cross a threshold to a permanent, blissful, safe place. Instead, our practice is to live our actual lives.

Formally organized in 2015, the Open Door Zen Community has adopted its name for our community of practice because it reflects our understanding of the reality of life – everything comes and goes. Our community endeavors to support its members in cultivating hearts and minds that remain open to this wisdom, and to help each other awaken to, and welcome, each moment of our lives, as they come and go.

Our community of practice follows the traditions established by Zen Teachers Shunryu Suzuki, Zenkei Blanche Hartman and Charlotte Joko Beck. Our Guiding Teacher is Flint Sparks. In our practice, we draw on the wisdom of these teachers, as well as other Buddhist teachings along with contemporary work in psychology, philosophy, poetry and the arts.