BMZC is an established community of Zen practitioners. We have an active and engaged community of members, and a daily program of events and activities. VISIT OUR WEB SITE for complete information, tips on meditating, audio files of dharma talks, etc.
What to 'bring' to a sitting: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting, modest clothing. We have plenty of zabutons (mats) and zafus (round cushions), as well as additional support cushions and "specialty" shapes (crescents, e.g.). So most people don't need to bring a cushion. And if you want or need, you're welcome to meditate sitting in a chair... which we also have in abundance. If you need special cushions, or want to bring a throw/shawl, please do. Otherwise and always, just bring yourself!
Meetup RSVPs do not always reflect the full attendance at our events, which is always higher. In their practice with BMZC, regular attendees routinely show up and don't always RSVP... and not all our members participate in Meetup. :)
About BMZC ...
Beginner's Mind Zen Centeris a neighborhood zendo in a quiet residential area near California State University at Northridge. It was established in 2003, and offers lay practitioners and interested individuals a daily program of meditation in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition as transmitted by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi. All are welcome to practice zen meditation at Beginner's Mind. No membership is required to participate. Activities include daily zazen and services, reading and discussion of key Buddhist texts, intensive pactice periods (sesshins) led by experienced teachers of Soto Zen Buddhism. The center also offers public talks by visiting Buddhist scholars and teachers from other Soto Zen centers.
Teachers at Beginner's Mind
Peter and Jane Schneider were early students of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in the sixties. Both served as Suzuki-roshi's jisha(personal attendant) in the early years of the Tassajara Zen Mounain Center. Peter and Jane also assisted in transcription of his dharma talks for later publication. Following Suzuki-roshi's death, they accepted scholarships from the San Francisco Zen Center to study Buddhism in Japan. Peter and Jane lived and studied in Japan from 1973 to 1995. They founded the Beginner's Mind Zen Center (originally the Northridge Zen Center) in 2003. Peter and Jane are members of the American Zen Teacher's Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
Yozen Peter Schneiderfirst studied with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in 1962 and returned to continue in 1967. He served as the second director of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, as well as president of the San Francisco Zen Center. Peter received priest ordination from Suzuki-roshi in 1970. In 2002 he received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman-roshi of the Berkeley Zen Center. Myokaku Jane Schneiderstudied with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi from 1967 until his death in 1971. She served as secretary for the San Francisco Zen Center. In 1973 Jane received priest ordination from Zentatsu Richard Baker-roshi. In September, 2008, she received dharma transmission from Myoan Grace Schireson, abbess of Empty Nest Zendo, a dharma heir in the Suzuki-roshi tradition. Jane's writing has appeared in Seeds of Virtue, Seeds of Change: A Collection of Zen Teachings (Temple Ground Press, 2014) and The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women (Wisdom Publications, 2013).