Sangha Affiliates of the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun
The Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun is honored to have clerics around the world leading local Zen communities. While the diversity of these groups’ approach to Zen training reflects the diversity of their their cultures and languages, it also speaks to the language of Zen, a Buddhist mystical tradition, that does not hold any particular approach to teaching more sacred than any other: as long as the path leads up the mountain, toward the perennial summit, we’re golden.
When we approach a Zen community, or sangha, for the first time we may initially be disquieted by the unfamiliar surroundings, practices, scents, etc. But, ultimately, our ability to embrace a spiritual practice relies on our ability to first put aside our opinions and desires, and to embrace that which is new and different in the same manner we embrace that which is common and familiar.
There are untold thousands of paths that ascend to the top of the proverbial spiritual summit , but we know well that it is not a matter of which path we take, but that we stay on the path we’ve chosen (or has been chosen for us). The cornerstone of all Zen Buddhist teachings are the Four Noble Truths. No spiritual training could be simpler … or more difficult! It is for the difficulty that we have sanghas, for, ideally, they help inspire us onward and help us overcome the many hurdles and obstacles we encounter on the steep climb upward.
Buddhist sanghas are no more a “closed” community than is a bus carrying a load of passengers. As the bus stops along the way to pick up new passengers who want to share the ride, so do sanghas open their doors to welcome others who wish to share the journey.
Our affiliate sanghas are open to all who are looking for a community of like-minded seekers. Some of these groups practice in the Japanese Buddhist traditions, some in the Chinese Buddhist traditions, and others in a more “free-form” westernized style. Others mix and match cultural traditions to create a unique blend of approaches. As we say in Zen circles, all approaches are legitimate as long as they serve to propel the devotee in the right direction – that direction that moves us forward and upward toward Zen’s summit. We don’t argue about which method is best, we just do it. We don’t allow our ego to discriminate between one approach and another; we just grab onto one and let it pull us forward.
The sangha listings here are updated regularly but may occasionally become out-of-date. If you discover any information that is obsolete or otherwise incorrect, please contact the priest whose email address is provided on the respective page.
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