The Description of Classes


 Experience Chan!
    Zen meditation, known as “Chan” in Chinese, flourished in China around 700 A.D.; since then it has provided spiritual nourishment for countless people. Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale is from the traditional Chinese Linji lineage.( 臨濟宗)  

        Through Zen meditation, we can reach an understanding (enlightenment) of life’s difficult problems and thereby gain true wisdom and peace of mind. The key to enlightenment is by reflecting inward into our own minds and attaining unbiased perception of reality. 

 Zen Meditation & Buddhism Classes

     Each class meeting is for about two hours, consisting of meditation practice (inc. instruction) in the first hour, and a lecture on Buddhist principles 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 previous methods and compassion contemplation.
Topics covered: the bodhisattva ideal, the six paramitas: the perfection of charity, morality, tolerance, diligence, meditation, and prajna wisdom.

Level III Class:

Meditation methods: previous methods, compassion contemplation
Topic covered: This sutra is one of the earliest Buddhist scriptures translated into Chinese, and remains one of the most important scriptures to this day. It tersely covers the important practices on the path to Buddhahood. If Buddha’s disciples recite these eight realizations, in thought after thought, they will eradicate countless sins, advance on the bodhi path, promptly attain enlightenment, be forever freed from birth and death, and always abide in joy.

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

SUTRA STUDY  :  The Vimalakirti Sutra (維摩詰經)
Ever since the early years of its Chinese translation by Kumarajiva, the Vimalakirti Sutra has been one of the most influential scriptures in East Asian Buddhism for more than a thousand years. Through a serious of profound, dramatic, and at times humorous dialogues between Vimalakirti and various disciples of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, the Sutra teaches, among other subjects, the idea of "When the mind is pure, the land is also pure" and the meaning of nonduality. It also compares various expedient teachings in Buddhism and expounds that the Buddha Dharma is not separate from worldly life, which is particularly significant to practitioners of this modern time. A truly inspirational text, the Vimalakirti Sutra remains one of the sutras that must be studied by all Buddhists and alike. 


"Ancient Wisdom-Enhancing School of Mindfulness and Enlightenment" classes are designed for children/youth ages 6-14 to discover their inner wisdom and develop 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. Parents can attend concurrent Q&A with Dharma Masters.

Silicon Valley Dharma Youth Group:

A program especially designed for junior and senior high school students. Welcome college students to serve as TAs. Participants meet every Friday evenings to meditate, learn the principles of Buddhism and how to apply the wisdom in school, at home, with parents and siblings, among friends, etc. Small group discussion 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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