The Cambridge Zen Center sangha (community) includes about thirty residents who live at the center in central Cambridge, as well as regional, national, and international Zen practitioners who visit the center for daily meditation practice and retreats.
Activities at the Zen center focus on together-action (acting in harmony with others). We practice together every morning and evening nearly every day of the year. We offer Zen meditation retreats each month and special retreats for college students. Our teachers give weekly talks and interviews, and we hold regular workshops on Buddhism, practice and other topics. We also offer social engagement activities, from cooking meals for local shelters to community canoe trips. Our annual Thanksgiving potluck attracts over 100 community members from around the Boston area.
Every Tuesday night, we invite the public to join us for a delicious vegetarian dinner. No advance notice is required but we kindly ask for a donation of $5 for each diner to keep our Zen center kitchen going. Dinner is served at 5.30 PM sharp.
The American region of the Kwan Um School of Zen includes nearly forty Zen centers in the United States, Mexico, Panama, and Argentina. The School's teachers travel frequently among these centers to lead retreats and guide practitioners.
The sangha comes together three times each year (in April, July and December) at the American headquarters temple, Providence Zen Center, for sangha weekends. These events feature ceremonies, workshops, and other together-action activities. The Cambridge Zen Center community regularly participates in these weekends.
The American region also hosts intensive periods of meditation known as “kyol che” retreats. Winter kyol che begins in early January and runs for 90 days. Summer kyol che runs for four weeks every summer. Both retreats are held at Diamond Hill Zen Monastery at Providence Zen Center.
Cambridge Zen Center is an affiliate of the international Kwan Um School of Zen, a worldwide network of more than 100 Zen centers in over 30 countries. The Kwan Um School of Zen was founded in 1978 by Zen Master Seung Sahn to bring the teaching and spirit of the ancient Korean Zen tradition to practitioners around the world.
Over 40 Zen Masters and Ji Do Poep Sas located around the world work together to develop Zen Master Seung Sahn’s legacy. Practitioners from Cambridge Zen Center can visit centers in any part of the world and practice in the same way, using the same practice forms.
The Kwan Um School of Zen operates through three regions: Americas, Asia and Europe. An International Council of senior teachers oversees worldwide teaching.