Zen is a true Science of Mind in which the student uses the mind-body as a laboratory to engage in the experiment of spirituality. This science includes working with the mind, body, and spirit for a complete experience of freedom and awakening. Open Mind Zen is a unique form of Zen Practice based on long-standing methods such as sitting meditation and koan practice, but also incorporating more modern, Westernized practices. The core of our practice is zazen, silent seated meditation. But we also view the body as a vehicle for discovery, so we offer a variety of yoga classes. We are an affiliate group of Open Mind Zen in Melbourne, FL, under the direction of Sensei Al Fusho Rapaport. We are in the Soto Zen Lineage, part of the White Plum Sangha.
Meditation is the core of Zen practice. This is a lifetime endeavor which one never outgrows, and which deepens over time. There is simply no substitute for a regular, committed sitting practice. We offer multiple weekly options for sitting. Kinhin (walking meditation) is offered in between sitting periods.
We view the body as a vehicle for realizing awakened mind. In its original, purest form, yoga practice was designed to prepare the body for deep meditation. Yoga practice, Breathwork, any mindful movement can be approached from this perspective. We offer a variety of donation-based yoga classes.
It is important to understand that Zen is not just meditation, but a process of uncovering unconscious habit patterns and ways of seeing our life. This is difficult to accomplish without the guidance of a teacher, as a teacher helps us to go where we wouldn't normally go on our own. Regular contact with a skilled Zen teacher is an instrumental part of the path. At OMZ, we offer dokusan/daisan to formal students. This is a private meeting with a teacher, usually on a weekly basis during normal meditation hours.
Koans are traditional stories or interactions between students and teachers, most of which come from the era called the Golden Age of Zen in ancient China. They are used as a method of realizing our True Self, and then deepening that realization. The stories, or "cases," are paradoxical in nature. The cause a student to examine human beings' reliance on the logical mind as a way to solve life's issues. In the OMZ School, we study the same koan collections used in traditional Zen. We also focus on the commentaries and poetry associated with each koan.
1. Attend a class. Anyone is welcome to drop in to a yoga or meditation class. No pre-registration is required. We ask newcomers to arrive 15 minutes before class for an orientation. All offerings are by donation. Suggested donation for yoga is $15. Suggested donation for meditation is $10. We prefer cash donations, but if needed you can donate online.
2. Become a member. If you feel a connection to OMZ and wish to meditate on a regular basis here, we welcome you to consider becoming a member. Suggested donation for membership is $60/month. This includes all OMZ weekly meditation offerings. Membership does not include yoga classes. Members receive discounts on all meditation retreats/events.
3. Become a Zen student. This is for those wanting to make a deeper commitment to Zen practice. Students will meet on a regular basis with either Kido or Andy. Suggested donation for OMZ Students is $75/month. The following requirements apply:
- A minimum of 3 months of regular meditation practice at our center. This is a commitment not to be taken lightly. A deep Dharma connection to our methods of practice, and to one of our teachers must be evident.
- Committed meditation practice, a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
- Study of Dharma books of your choosing or suggested by the teacher.
- Regular participation in meetings and events at our center, including a commitment to attend at least one retreat a year.
When considering your options for practicing, please don't let your financial situation be a determining factor. These are suggested donations. Consider what this is worth to you, what you can afford to pay, and then please speak openly with us. We will never turn anyone away!