Before You Come

When to come:

Our practice periods are Wednesday evenings. Please use the contact page or email us to let us know you plan to attend, and then arrive at 6:30 pm for a brief orientation and our weekly program. *The building is key-coded for security – you will need the security code to enter. This code will be emailed to you when you request your orientation.*

If you are new to Zen:

These Wednesday night at 6:30 PM orientations offer brief introductions to zazen (the Zen style of meditation), to postures that will help you sit comfortably and in stillness, to meditation hall etiquette, to Zen liturgy, and to the Boundless Way Zen school. If any of that is new to you, please consider coming to an orientation!

Since several people often attend these orientations and there is a good bit of material to be covered in a brief period of time, please make every effort to arrive promptly at 6:30 PM, out of courtesy to your fellow attendees.

If you’d like to get a jumpstart on the orientation and to get a full sense of our approach to Zen, please listen to one or more of these introductory talks given by GBZC teacher Josh Bartok:

You may also want to read this book:

If you are experienced in Zen:

If you are comfortable with stillness and are familiar with meditation in the Zen tradition and with Zen liturgy–you are welcome to just show up and dive in. Nonetheless, we do encourage even old hands to come for an orientation, if only to introduce yourself and get acquainted.

What you should bring and what you should wear:

You needn’t bring anything at all except, ideally, an open mind. If you wish to bring your own meditation cushion or bench, please do so. Some chairs, cushions, and benches will be available. You needn’t wear anything special, though you may wish to choose somewhat loose-fitting pants.

Is it free?

All orientations and all regular daily practice sessions are offered free of charge. The Bright Sea Sangha does pay substantial rent to maintain our sitting space, so we welcome your donations ($5 per night is suggested).

If you are looking only for relaxation: You may find it more fruitful to explore a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation.  Zen practice may lead to relaxation–but then again, it may not. The Zen tradition regards relaxation as a potential side-effect, and not so much as the goal of practice. But if you are looking to learn a variety of techniques that might help you relax, a fabulous book you may enjoy is Meditation & Relaxation in Plain English, by Bob Sharples.