What we're about

Welcome to the Great Cloud Sangha (Jacksonville Soto Zen Meditation Group, Inc.)

UPDATE 6/9/2021: Meetings have resumed in person at UUCJ with the option of Zoom still open for those who cannot attend in person.

Soto Zen is one of two schools of Zen Buddhism. Our focus is on silent sitting meditation called zazen. We sit for periods of 20-25 minutes with interludes of kinhin (walking) between.

Please join us, whether you are exploring mindfulness or simply curious. Our group includes a few members who have practiced Zen for 2, 3 and even 4 decades, as well as beginners.

Zen is compatible with faith based religions and other spiritual practices. It isn't mystical. Using pure consciousness, through meditation, we open to the essence of reality. Occasionally, we have ceremonial rituals to celebrate our 2600 year old tradition, but it is not worship. Buddha is a title given those who are awakened or enlightened as was Siddharta Gautama, whose teachings we follow to gain insight into ourselves and this realm we call life.

Our Zendo is hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville. We meet in the "Susan B. Anthony" room (signs are posted). It is located on Arlington Exwy. You must use Arlington or Arlingwood exit to access the North Service Rd. (see Location Map.PDF (https://files.meetup.com/10811862/UUCJ%20location%20map.pdf)) The church is shrouded by the oak trees and hardly visible from the street.

If you're interested in our tradition, we are an affiliate of Mokurai - Silent Thunder Order led by Taiun Elliston-Roshi of Matsuoka-Roshi's lineage. Read about it at STO Origin and Lineage (http://storder.org/index.php/homepage/origin).

Jacksonville Soto Zen Meditation Group, Inc. is a not for profit 501(c3) organization.

Upcoming events (4+)

Newcomers Group

Location visible to members

Every Saturday we host a program at 12:30pm and it goes on for one hour. Here you can ask your questions about Buddhism, Soto Zen or you’re meditation practice in general.

Immediately following the program is the Sangha’s Open Sitting hosted by Sensei Ungan from 1:30pm to 3:00pm, where you can come and go as you please.

The group is hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville in the Susan B. Anthony Room, we have a sign up that points the way. We also have it on Zoom. To get the link to the Zoom, please RSVP. The Church asks that you practice general safety practices and mask usage.

Zazen Meditation Open Sitting

Location visible to members

Our open sitting Zazen meditation is between 1:30pm to 3:30pm. You may come and go as you please. If you are new to Zen practice and have questions, please contact Bill Mayhew at [masked]. If you’d like to join, please RSVP and you will receive more information.

Zazen Meditation Monday Nights

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville

Welcome to the Great Cloud Sangha (Jacksonville Soto Zen Meditation Group, Inc.)

UPDATE 9/10/2020:

PLEASE NOTE ** Hi folks-- Things do keep changing. We are sitting again at the church and request that you attend in person only if you are fully vaccinated. We will continue to have our Zoom programs for Sat pm and Mon night. If you have any questions or would like to talk about our group please feel free to contact me. Bill Mayhew, [masked] or[masked].

We normally have two meetings each week. The more formal meetings are on Monday nights at 6:55 in the Social Hall at the Unitarian Church on Arlington expressway. We have some short chanting followed by two 20 minute meditation sessions with a 5 minute walk in between. Ending with a 30 minute or so discussion. We will continue to use Zoom also.

On Saturdays meditation begins at 1:30 pm in the Anthony room at the church. There are 3 sessions for 25 mins each with short walks in-between. We will continue on Zoom also.
Saturday is "open" sitting, so you may come & go at your discretion. There will be no chants or discussion on Sat.

For future programs check our calendar or contact organizer before coming since it is possible that the church location will not be available. Watch this site and email notices for deviations. Better yet get on our mailing list and receive information directly.

Newcomers, please try to arrive early to meet with the practice leader for orientation. He arrives an hour early from scheduled meeting times. Otherwise, message him in advance, but do join us regardless.

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Directions to the zendo (https://www.meetup.com/Jacksonville-Soto-Zen-Meditation-Group/pages/20783841/Directions_to_Zendo_location/)

Newcomers Group

Location visible to members

Every Saturday we host a program at 12:30pm and it goes on for one hour. Here you can ask your questions about Buddhism, Soto Zen or you’re meditation practice in general.

Immediately following the program is the Sangha’s Open Sitting hosted by Sensei Ungan from 1:30pm to 3:00pm, where you can come and go as you please.

The group is hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville in the Susan B. Anthony Room, we have a sign up that points the way. We also have it on Zoom. To get the link to the Zoom, please RSVP. The Church asks that you practice general safety practices and mask usage.

Past events (658)

Zazen Meditation Monday Nights

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville

Photos (99)