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We are a small Soto Zen Community founded by Oryu Paul Stuetzer and Yo Kai Stephen Casey who came from the Green Gulch Community of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1993. The initial concept was to form a lay meditation group of Zen practitioners following the teachings of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.

As the membership grew and the practice became more formalized, it was decided by the Sangha to incorporate SCZC as a non-profit organization. The purpose is religious practice, teaching of the Dharma, and beneficence to all beings.

Sensei Edward E. Brown from San Francisco Zen Center served as the initial teacher for the community and later Sensei Barbara Kohn of the Austin Zen Center took over the teaching leadership. Recently, the Sangha decided to join with a sister community, Hokoji in Taos, New Mexico. Hokoji was founded by Kobun Chino Roshi who taught Soto Zen and was a close friend and colleague of Suzuki Roshi. One of the teachers at Hokoji is Kojun Jean Leyshon who also serves as the visiting teacher for SCZC.

Our regular practice schedule can be found at this web site under Schedule. We sit weekly and offer day sits with Oryoki ( a monastic meal with monks bowls ) on a regular basis. We celebrate certain Buddhist holidays such as Buddha's Birthday, Segaki Ceremony (Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts,) Full Moon Ceremonies, Rohatsu Sesshin ( Buddha's Enlightenment Retreat,) and National holidays such as Thanksgiving and New Years. Throughout the year Sangha members take on active projects in the community i.e. teaching english as a second language, a ministry for prisoners, reading with residents in nursing homes, and being active in CAN " Conscious Aging Network. " The community gathers every other Friday evening to watch a spiritual film, enjoy a communal meal and discussion. The beautiful Gila Wilderness and Lake Roberts offer opportunities for hiking, riding, rock collecting, plant and animal studies. Ornithology is a big interest in this region.

The Center has a small lending library , CD, and video collection which is open to all members of the Sangha. Membership is offered after three months to those who seek a deeper commitment to their Zen practice. Membership includes discounts on lectures, religious items, and voting privileges.

The Center does not have housing for visiting students, but plans are presently being formulated by the Zen Center Board to make this a future reality. Rental housing is available at afordable prices nearby.