The Description of Classes


 Experience Chan!
    Zen meditation, known as “Chan” in Chinese, flourished in China around 700 C.E., and has since been providing spiritual nourishment for countless people. Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale inherited the traditional Chinese Linji lineage. ( 臨濟宗)  

        Through Zen meditation, we can reach a deeper understanding of life’s difficult problems, opening our minds to gain true wisdom and peace. The key to enlightenment is to reflect inward into our own minds to attain an unbiased perception of reality.

 Zen Meditation & Buddhism Classes

     Each class meets for about two hours, consisting of meditation practice in the first hour and a lecture on Buddhist teachings in the second hour.

Level I  Class:

Meditation methods: Breath-counting, mindfulness of the breath, middle way reality (a Zen practice).
Topics covered: Introduction to Buddhism and Zen, karma and causality, the Four Noble Truths (suffering, the causes of suffering, nirvana, the Noble Eightfold Path), Three Refuges, and Five Precepts.

Level II  Class:

Meditation  methods : Continuation of  Level I methods and compassion contemplation.
Topics  covered : The bodhisattva ideal - the six paramitas:  perfection of charity, morality, tolerance, diligence, meditation, and prajna wisdom.

Level III Class:

Meditation methods: previous methods, compassion contemplation
Topic covered: The Sutra on Impermanence (無常經) vividly describes the impermanent nature of life, reveals the true source of liberation and the Way to rise from foolish delusion to enlightenment.
          “Virtuous deeds give rise to good destinies,     勝因生善道
           And bad karma plunges one into hell.               惡業墮泥犁
           There is no vision clearer than wisdom,           明眼無過慧
           And nothing darker than ignorance. ”                 黑闇不過癡

Sutra Study Class:
Additional meditation methods.
Topics: selected Buddhist scriptures.

SUTRA STUDY  :  The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra (金剛般若波羅蜜經) has been one of the most influential Mahayana sutras since it was first translated into Chinese by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva in the 5th century. Through a series of dialogues with  Elder Subhuti, the Buddha expounds on the essence of prajna wisdom that transcends forms, thoughts, and conceptions. In the Sutra, the Buddha repeatedly emphasizes that the successful assimilation of even a four-line extract of the teaching is of incalculable merit and can bring about enlightenment.

        “All conditioned phenomena                                            一切有為法
         Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow,     如夢幻泡影
         Like dew or a flash of lightning;                                      如露亦如電
         Thus we shall perceive them.”                                        應作如是觀

Truly inspirational, the Diamond Sutra remains one of the most studied sutras by Buddhists and alike.


"Ancient Wisdom-Enhancing School of Mindfulness and Enlightenment" class is designed for children/ youth ages 6-14 to discover their inner wisdom and develop a positive outlook on life. The creatively designed curriculum includes meditation instructions, Dharma talks, Zen stories, movies, character-building activities, and more. Students learn to sharpen their awareness and concentration and to appreciate the gifts of this world.

Silicon Valley Dharma Youth Group:

A program especially designed for junior and senior high school students. College students are welcome to serve as TAs. Participants meet every Friday evening to meditate, to learn the principles of Buddhism and how to apply Buddhist wisdom in school, at home, with parents, siblings and friends, etc. Small group discussions guided by Dharma Masters. Fun activities and social time are part of the program. Other organized activities further their understanding of Buddhism.

                           Students who wish to further improve their meditation skills can participate in the seven-day, one-day Zen meditation retreats as well as the meditation workshops. These are held regularly and are conducted both in English and in Chinese. The retreats are usually filled to capacity as more and more people come to realize the need for this precious time of inward illumination and awareness.




        •  The Benefits of Meditation  >>

          •    What Is Zen ? >>

          •    What Does "Buddha" Mean ?  >>

          •    Meditation & Buddhism Q & A  >>



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