Our Core Values
Tradition in modern times
We follow a noble tradition that has lasted for over 2,500 years, but we adapt it to the needs and requirements of life in the 21st century, based on our own rich experience. Being a secular institution with minimal institutional structure we strive to put forth the core of Chan, rather than trying to preserve the cultural characteristics of the civilizations that created and developed it.
In our case, however, less external structure does not imply less commitment. Our approach to cultivating the mind is in-depth, responsible and knowledgeable, as it reflects the central practice around which everything we do revolves.
Clearly worded profound truths
Our purpose is not to mesmerize or fascinate; it is to clearly and directly refer to our own investigation into both our own, as well as the world’s nature. We hold that profound truths ask for simplicity and intelligibility in their transmission. Such a way of teaching mediates humanistic ideals that respect each individual and support his or her innate potential to find out about themselves.
Friendship instead of authority
Our community is based on spiritual friendship and mutual support. As Buddha once said, “Good friendship is the whole of the spiritual path.” He thus focused on the fact that a network of good influences is crucial in creating an environment where we can transcend both our social as well as our individual narrow-mindedness and build a world with more mutual understanding.
Although Buddhism starts out with the seemingly dark claim that life is equal to suffering, the social gatherings in our community are imbued with a lightness of being and gales of laughter.
What’s the secret? Not taking oneself too seriously is perhaps one of the most important insights that come to fruition when you are devoted to Chan practice.
Respect for all beings
A fundamental moral virtue in Buddhism is nonviolence (ahimsā), which extends to all sentient beings. It is a natural consequence of deep insight into the interconnectedness of all existence. We strive to embody it not only by choosing vegetarianism, but also by a lifestyle that minimally endangers other lifeforms on this planet of ours.