Standards Survey

Development of Membership Standards

Currently, Soto Zen Buddhist priests are eligible for full membership if they have received ordination and dharma transmission in a … more

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2014 SZBA Conference

2014┬áSoto Zen Buddhist Association Conference October 1-5 Great Vow Zen Monastery Clatskanie, Oregon   Quicklinks Schedule Location & Travel Keynote … more

Quarterly Newsletter

April 2014 SZBA Newsletter

Click here to view the April 2014 SZBA Newsletter


The ancient spiritual practice offered by Soto Zen is particularly relevant in today’s complex and dynamic world. As the pace of life continues to accelerate, as families and individuals feel less close than in past generations, and as relationships constantly change, it is easy to lose one’s spiritual compass. Despite an ever increasing standard of living and opportunities for knowledge, careers, and leisure that come with each improvement in technology, peace of mind remains elusive.

The heart of Zen is selfless meditation; its goal is to be awake to one’s universal condition, beyond the transiency and concerns of everyday affairs. Soto Zen offers a quiet, disciplined practice that enables us to express our inherent wisdom and composure by expanding awareness and setting aside distractions. As the mind increases its capacity to respond creatively to difficulties that arise amid the tensions of a pressure-filled life, stress is replaced by confidence and buoyancy. By seeing into the Truth of one’s own nature, the anxiety of self-orientation is transformed into an attitude of equanimity and caring.

Soto Zen practice encourages paying attention to the workings of one’s own mind and to the discovery of each persons potential for compassion and universal connection with all life. It places particular importance on living mindfully in all dimensions of daily life, including family, work, and community. Through the unfolding of selflessness, Zen practitioners expand their inherent qualities of generosity, patience, kindness, humor, and wisdom.

If you would like to learn more about Soto Zen practice, click here to find a center near you, and click here for a directory of Soto Zen teachers recognized by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA)