Zen Buddhist Center California
The Monterey Bay Zen Center was founded in 1988 in Carmel, California. (Karin Sobun) Katherine Thanas, a resident teacher at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the Big Sur Ventana, agreed to teach at MBZC weekly.
The group met for a short time at the Unitarian Universalist church and then moved to the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel. In 1997, Monterey Bay Zen Center received non-profit status from the State of California.
MBZC is a Buddhist meditation community following the Soto Zen tradition brought to Japan by the 13th century Japanese Master Eihei Dogen. In 1959, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi introduced this tradition in San Francisco. He founded the San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and taught meditation as inseparable from everyday life.
Soto Zen meditation, as taught at Monterey Bay Zen Center, consists of sitting upright and still on a floor cushion, bench, or chair, while paying attention to the breath. Meditation is central to the practice of Zen Buddhism because through meditation people are able to observe the habitual patterns of their minds and learn to truly experience the present moment — the “here and now.”
Weekly meetings are held on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cherry Center in Carmel, which includes 40 minutes of sitting meditation, 10 minutes of walking meditation, a short ceremony, and then an hour lecture. Meditation instruction is offered free of charge the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Meditation is also offered Monday and Thursday mornings at 7 a.m.
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