The Zen Center is open from Tuesday through Sunday.


Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale offers a youth program known as AWESOME -- Ancient Wisdom-Enhancing School of Mindfulness and Enlightenment. The program is designed to help students discover their inner wisdom and develop their potential and positive outlook on life through meditation and Zen stories. The creatively designed curriculum consists of instructions on meditation techniques, dharma talks, Buddhist / Zen stories and movies, mind-stimulating activities, group discussions, and more. Through meditation, students learn to sharpen their awareness and concentration. Through classroom activities students learn to understand and appreciate themselves and increase their ability to interact with each other. The four tenets of Chung Tai are used as a theme for teaching the classes.

The program welcomes all youth under 16 who are in good physical and mental condition, have good character, and have a desire and commitment to learn. Parental participation is strongly encouraged. Children age 10 and under must be accompanied by parent(s)/guardian(s). Tuition is free (donations are welcome).

For a schedule of the current session, please see "Program Description" under Zen Meditation/Buddhism Classes.  For more information, please visit or call the Zen Center.

* These AWESOME webpages were created, designed, and written by our youths, in particular Scott Chiu, with additional writing assistance by Jasmin Wu and Jenny Tan.

The Four Tenets of Chung Tai

To our elders be respectful
To our juniors be kind
With all humanity be harmonious
In all endeavors be true

AWESOME held its very first session of six weekly classes in June-August 2004. The following pages highlight some of the activities of this first session. On the average, over fifty students between ages 5-16 years, along with thirty parents, attended the program every week. See the "graduation" photo below.

Ven. Jian Hu, Abbot of the Zen Center, Ven. Jian Gong, and students participated in the June - August 2004 session of AWESOME.

* These AWESOME webpages were created, designed, and written by our youths, in particular Scott Chiu, with additional writing assistance by Jasmin Wu and Jenny Tan.

The AWESOME students are separated into four different teams, each representing a Bodhisattva as illustrated below:

English Name

Chinese Name


TA Leader

Manjusri Wenshu Great Wisdom Justin
Samantabhadra Puxian Great Conduct James
Avalokitesvara Guanyin Great Compassion Indah
Ksitigarbha Dizang Great Vow Willy

The classes are led by Dharma Masters or "Shifu's" along with hard working Teaching Assistants (TA), TA helpers, and many other volunteers. See the happy faces below!

Left to Right
Top Row: Chetman, Indah, Jiunn Jin, Jason, Master Jian Hu, Master Jian Gong, Justin, Jennifer, Tony, Wendy, James, Kitty
Bottom Row: Stella, John, Joy, Diana, Ann, Karry

Story Time!
Each week, Ven. Jian Hu, Abbot of the Zen Center, will tell a story or two on Buddhism, such as the two below from the first class:

Siddartha and Gupta
Venerable Abbot Jian Hu presented a brief biography of Siddartha. Siddartha renounced his wealth and throne in order to spend his life searching for wisdom and to teach others how to be kind to each other. The fact that Siddartha became a Buddha, shows us that everyone can become an awakened one. Everyone has the equal potential to become a Buddha!

During the time of the Buddha (3000 years ago), Gupta, a rich man, fell in love with a three story high mansion. Because the third floor of the mansion was the most elegant and beautiful, Gupta told the original architect of the mansion to build him just that floor. After two months had passed, a bewildered Gupta found the architect digging down into the site. The architect explained to him that he was digging down because the mansion must have a foundation before it could be built. So, one month later Gupta returned, and to his surprise, only the first floor was being constructed. He argued that he only wanted the third floor, not the first; but the architect explained that he couldn't build the third floor without the first. The moral of the story can be related to school--you cannot be successful without first doing your homework and studying.

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