This profile was last updated in 2006
Activities and Schedule
As of June, 2007, Zazen is offered weekday mornings from 6:30-7:30, Wednesday evenings from 7:30-9:00, and Sunday mornings from 8-10. For current information about meetings, visit the Ordinary Mind website. For the Sunday morning program, there are two periods of sitting meditation separated by walking meditation. These zazen periods are followed by a short informal service that includes offering incense, observing silence, a short reading and discussion. The following verse is chanted at the end: “Caught in the self-centered dream, only suffering; Holding to self-centered thoughts, exactly the dream; Each moment, life as it is, the only teacher; Being just this moment, compassion’s way.”
The Ordinary Mind Zen Group was established in 1995 by Peg Syverson, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin. Professor Syverson is a long-time Zen student of Charlotte Joko Beck, formerly of the Zen Center in San Diego (ZCSD). In August, 2006, Joko Beck gave her permission to teach and give practice inerviews. Joko Beck received dharma transmission from Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center in Los Angeles (ZCLA). The present group follows the Joko Beck model, a contemporary way of practice with minimal forms. Peg Syverson, as the resident teacher, leads diverse practice approaches, including Soto Zen meditation techniques and group inquiry. She says, “The group is relatively informal in terms of ritual, so it is comfortable for many who prefer minimal ceremony or forms and an emphasis on direct experience in zazen.” Reverend Syverson welcomes anyone interested in or curious about Joko Beck’s teachings. Reverend Syverson gives meditation instruction and regular “Dharma talks” and offers individual practice interviews. The Ordinary Zen Mind Group does not preclude individual affiliation with other groups, rather its Zen students are encouraged to be open and flexible to Buddhist teachings from other traditions.
With 15-18 active participants, the group is predominantly composed of American Caucasians. Updates Provided by Peg Syverson, June 19, 2007.