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The Vista Zen Center welcomes you to come and practice with Jake Jiyu Gage Sensei, an ordained teacher in the White Plum Lineage and a Dharma Successor of Nicolee Jikyo McMahon Roshi. Jiyu Sensei encourages students to work as part of a strong sangha (community) in a close relationship with the teacher.

 

Students learn traditional Zen practice and also are encouraged to take the insights gained from their Zen practice into their everyday lives. Whether the student is an artist or an accountant, insights gained from Zen practice are explored and actualized into real word achievements.

The schedule at the Vista Zen Center makes it possible for students to practice at the center on a daily basis. Members also have the opportunity to meditate and interact during retreats, days of creative exploration, and social gatherings.

Students who wish to advance formally in the way of Zen have the opportunity to take Jukai (receive the precepts) to become lay Zen Buddhists. Some may choose to study and become ordained as Zen priests, or to become a Zen teacher (sensei): separate programs are in place for these students.

Overall we emphasize practicing zazen (seated meditation), working with a teacher, and supporting the community of practitioners. These have always been the heart of Zen practice and will always be the foundation of the Vista Zen Center.

At the Vista Zen Center we follow two approaches to the study and practice of Zen. The goal for both approaches is to serve the students in integrating the way of Zen into all aspects of their lives.

One approach is called “Zendo Practice” which follows very closely the teaching Jiyu Sensei practiced under Taizan Maezumi Roshi and Nicolee Jikyo Roshi.

Sitting in zazen, working with the teacher, and working with the precepts within a community setting are the salient aspects of the “Zendo Practice”.

The second approach, “Genjo Practice” is concerned with a student’s engagements outside the traditional Zen setting. The students everyday lives become the focus of their Zen practice.

To facilitate “Genjo Practice” Jiyu Sensei encourages students to work with him focusing on a specific aspect of their lives. Often this will be something they love to do and will probably continue to do no matter what else is going on in their lives. For some students, this might be the time spent in working in a creative domain such as painting, poetry, or music. Or it might be home-schooling one’s children, taking care of the garden, or the livelihood that puts food on the table and a roof over their heads.