Zen Centers: Contemplative Care on the East and West Coasts

Posted 7/10/2020

“The true purpose [of Zen] is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes… Zen practice is to open up our small mind.” Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice.

Zen on the West Coast:

San Francisco Zen Center is a practice place for a diverse population of students, visitors, lay people, priests, and monks guided by teachers who follow in Suzuki Roshi’s style of warm hand and heart to warm hand and heart. All are welcome

Enso Village, a Kendal Affiliate, is a collaboration between Kendal and the San Francisco Zen Center. Enso Village is a Life Plan Community in Healdsburg, CA, with a focus on mindful aging, the joys of nature, environmental stewardship, contemplative care and healthy life choices for adults 60+. From gardens to kitchens to meditation spaces and even in its assisted living and memory care residences, Enso Village will inspire a spirit of connection, compassion and mutual respect that embraces residents of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Zen on the East Coast:

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care – NYZCCC offers a year-long Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program. NYZCCC defines contemplative care as a multi-faith, relationship-centered approach to care that draws on the contemplative practice of the caregiver as the primary source of wisdom and loving action. The Foundations curriculum is designed for healthcare professionals, volunteer caregivers, and those wishing to explore emotional and spiritual support for the aging, ill, and dying, and for those who care for them.

They have various offerings, including Wisdom Sangha, a community of Elders aged 60+ who meet online the second Friday of each month to explore the themes and realities of aging.

12 ways to live more mindfully and Zen-like – here are just a few:

  • Do one thing at a time
  • Do it slowly and deliberately
  • Devote time to sitting and meditation
  • Smile and serve others

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