Practice at Great Plains Zen Center
Becoming a student member
Practice at GPZC takes many forms. All are welcome to practice with us regardless of their previous experience or aspirations. Those who want to have a more formal relationship with GPZC and Myoyu Roshi can petition to become student members. Information on the student path can befound here.
Daily sitting, workshops and retreats
There are opportunities to sit together on a regular basis in several Wisconsin and Illinois locations. GPZC offers monthly retreats, called sesshin or zazenkai, in which students stay at GPZC for a few days to a week and engage in intensive practice. Workshops and classes are regularly available for new and experienced students.
Great Plains Zen Center offers opportunities to be involved in Engaged Buddhism, practicing the precepts in the wider world in our relationship to the earth and all of her inhabitants: humans, plants and animals.
Receiving the Precepts
A student can make a formal commitment to following the Buddha Way and receiving the Buddhist Precepts in a ceremony called jukai (lay ordination). Some students are called to devote their lives to ensuring that the practice of the Dharma is available for generations to come. These students enter the priest path, receiving ordination as monks or nuns.
Each summer, members and friends have the opportunity to participate in a 90 Day Intensive Practice Period called Ango. The word ango means peaceful dwelling and originates from the time each year that the Buddha sheltered in one place throughout the duration of India’s rainy season, rather than traveling from place to place as he otherwise did. At GPZC, those interested can make a commitment to practice for the 90-Day period. A shuso, or head trainee, serves for the 90 days and presents a koan during a lively Dharma debate, called Shuso Hossen, that takes place at the end of the summer.
Practice for Children
In April each year, Great Plains Zen Center holds a Buddha’s Birthday Celebration, especially for children and their families. Meditation activities are introduced, children play the temple instruments during the chanting and do a craft with a Buddhist-related theme. Children help decorate a beautiful flower house and bath the baby Buddha with sweet tea.
Periodically, other classes and activities are offered for children. These can be found on our Events Calendar.