Welcome to the Providence Zen Center

Zen Practice helps us to realize our true self and serve this world with wisdom and passion

What is Zen?

ZEN IS UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF

One day a student from Chicago came to the Providence Zen Center and asked Seung Sahn Soen-Sa, “What is Zen?”

Soen-sa held his Zen stick above his head and said, “Do you understand?”

The student said, “I don’t know.”

Soen-sa said, “This don’t know mind is you. Zen is understanding yourself.”

“What do you understand about me? Teach me.”

Soen-sa said, “In a cookie factory, different cookies are baked in the shape of animals, cars, people, and airplanes. They all have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same dough, and they all taste the same.

“In the same way, all things in the universe – the sun, the moon, the stars, mountains, rivers, people, and so forth – have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same substance. The universe is organized into pairs of opposites: light and darkness, man and woman, sound and silence, good and bad. But all these opposites are mutual, because they are made from the same substance. Their names and their forms are different, but their substance is the same. Names and forms are made by your thinking. If you are not thinking and have no attachment to name and form, then all substance is one. Your don’t know mind cuts off all thinking. This is your substance. The substance of this Zen stick and your own substance are the same. You are this stick; this stick is you.”

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About us

A LITTLE ABOUT US

The Providence Zen Center is a residential and non-residential community of lay persons and monastics in rural Rhode Island. Founded by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, it is the head temple of the North American Kwan Um School of Zen. The mission of the Providence Zen Center is to provide Zen training for all, through daily practice, regularly scheduled retreats and an international exchange of teachers and practitioners. We welcome newcomers and teach how to meditate via weekly classes.

DAILY PRACTICE SESSIONS

Anyone is welcome to join the daily practice sessions. Newcomers can join the practice by following the forms as given through orientation. If you are visiting for the first time and cannot attend the Introduction to Zen class, please ask the Head Dharma Teacher for orientation. You are always welcome to ask questions of any Dharma Teacher (senior student wearing long robes) or other students at the center. Please follow the link to the schedule of our meditation instruction classes that is available for newcomers. Free and open to all newcomers, this class offers an orientation to Zen meditation. Basic meditation instructions and Dharma room forms are given with some Q & A. No registration needed. Students are encouraged to stay for the public Dharma talk or practice following the class. Class can be taken more than once if desired.

OUR RESIDENCY PROGRAM

The monthly fee is currently $700 for a private room with shared bathrooms throughout the building. Food and filtered drinking water are provided for residents, and each Wednesday dinner is prepared for the community. In the summer months we grow much of our own produce in our organic garden. Group practice is every morning and evening 7 days a week, there are monthly weekend retreats, and long Kyol Che retreats each Winter and Summer.  Residents can receive regular interviews and attend talks by our Guiding Teachers and visiting KUSZ teachers.  The monthly training fee covers all retreats at PZC (including the long Kyol Che retreats), utilities, and wireless internet access in bedrooms and hot spots throughout the building.

Resident Handbook
You may begin the process by completing our Resident Application Form.

Scheduling

Morning Practice Schedule

Mornings (including Sunday)
5:00 Wake up
5:15 108 Bows
5:45 Morning Bell Chant followed by Regular Chanting
6:30 – 7:00 Sitting meditation

Wednesday
5:00 Wake up
5:15 108 Bows
5:30 House meeting

Sunday
9:00 am Meditation Instruction Class
9:30 am Two half hour sitting periods with a ten minute walking meditation in-between
10:45 am Dharma Talk
11:30am Refreshments

Morning and Evening Practice Are Open To The Public.

Evening Practice Schedule

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Orientation is at scheduled times or by appointment please call
7:00 Regular Chanting
7:15 – 7:40 1st Sitting
7:40 – 7:50 Walking Meditation
7:50 – 8:15 2nd Sitting

Tuesday Kong-an Interviews

7:00 Regular Chanting
7:15 – 7:40 1st Sitting
7:40 – 7:50 Walking Meditation
7:50 – 8:15 2nd Sitting

Wednesday

5:30 See our getting started classes..

Friday
7:00 Chanting
7:15-7:40 Sitting Meditation

Weekly Meditation Classes

First Wednesday each month
5:30pm Public dinner
6:15pm Meditation instruction class
7:00pm Regular Chanting
7:15pm Sitting and walking meditation to 8:20pm plus Zen interviews with Nancy Hedgpeth JDPSN

Second Wednesday each month5:30pm Public dinner
6:15pm Meditation instruction class
7:00pm Regular Chanting
7:15pm Sitting and walking meditation to 8:20pm plus consulting interviews with a senior student

Third Wednesday each month
5:30pm Public dinner
6:15pm Meditation instruction class or
7:00pm Regular Chanting
7:15pm Sitting and walking meditation to 8:20pm plus Zen interviews with Jose Ramirez JDPSN

Fourth Wednesday each month
5:30pm Public dinner
6:15pm Meditation instruction class
7:00pm Regular Chanting
7:15pm Dharma Talk till 8:20pm

Fifth Wednesday each month (if any)
5:30pm Public dinner
6:15pm Meditation instruction class
7:00pm Regular Chanting
7:15pm Sitting and walking meditation to 8:20pm

EVERY SUNDAY
9:00 am  Meditation Instruction Class
9:30 am  Two half hour sitting periods with a ten minute walking meditation in-between
10:45 am  Dharma Talk
11:30 am  Refreshments

Winter Kyol Che 2020

Winter Kyol Che 2020 takes place from Saturday January 4, 2020 through Friday April 3, 2020

Teacher schedule and more info here!

Dharma School

Dharma School

The Providence Zen Center offers classes for children ages 4-12 and their families in meditation, mindfulness and the Buddhist Tradition. Classes are held on the  fourth Sunday of each month from 10-11:15AM

Dharma School, History and Mission:

The Providence Zen Center launched Dharma School in December 2010 and continues to offer classes every fourth Sunday of each month at 10am. The mission of the PZC Dharma School is to provide sangha members and other interested parents the opportunity to involve their children in Buddhist education and meditation practice. Dharma School goal is to introduce children to our Buddhist tradition, while emphasizing creativity, play, and togetherness. It is our hope that the Dharma School will help create an atmosphere in which families feel welcome to bring their children to the Zen Center for exposure to the dharma and meditation practice.

The program is open to any child age 4 to 12 interested in exploring the dharma. Older children and teenagers are always welcome to attend dharma talks or sittings in the main dharma room.  If older children have an interest in mentoring younger students, they are invited to assist in Dharma School classes.  Parents are welcome to contact the school to determine the best fit for their child.

Class Content & Structure:

Each Dharma School class is centered on a Buddhist theme or teaching, many of which are taken from sources such as the Buddha‚ life, the Jataka Tales, the Four Noble Truths, the Precepts and the Paramitas. Every class is typically comprised of three major learning components: education about the Buddhist tradition, exploration of an ethical theme, and practice of mindfulness and meditation. These three components are explored through stories, crafts, movement, meditation, activities, and games.

For Parents:

Parents are always invited to accompany their children in the classroom, and parent involvement helps create a livelier and more dynamic atmosphere. There is a meditation instruction class held prior to Dharma School at 9am. If you are interested in attending that session, then please contact the Dharma School at the email address below and childcare can be arranged for the 9am-10am hour.

For More Information:

If you are interested in becoming involved, please attend a class; students may join at any time. If you would like more information on Dharma School, please call at (401) 658-1464, or email Director@providencezen.org

Testimonials

"The Providence Zen Center is a great place to relax and find your inner self"

John Doe

"The Providence Zen Center is a great place to relax and find your inner self"

Jacob Smith

Most programs are free and open to the public

We are able to keep these programs running because of the continued support and donations made by people like you