The ZCLA Curriculum follows the Center’s Circle of Life (Mandala). The Circle of Life is the teaching of the Five Buddha Families, which presents the wholeness of a mature human life. 

The Five Buddha Families (also called Spheres) are Source, Study, Resources, Relationships, and Service.  The essential practices of each Family are zazen (Source); study (Study); lineage, precepts, and health (Resource); relationships, liturgy, art, ritual, and sexuality (Relationships); and everyday acts of kindness, service, livelihood, and world learning (Service). We are creating a curriculum that addresses your development in each of these areas and in collective awakening and wisdom.

The Circle of Life is a three-dimensional hologram of the wholeness of life. Each sphere is a fractal of all the others—all the components are contained in each sphere. For example, when we place the Relationship sphere in the center of the hologram, it contains elements of zazen, study, service, lineage, precepts, and health. The Circle of Life is used for the structure of our organization as well as for personal practice.

The Curriculum offers skillful means to awaken and deepen, refine and integrate one’s practice with Life. The practice of Buddhadharma is transformative; one turns and is turned by it.

We feel that the present circumstances of your life are the perfect vehicle for your awakening. How can we use these very circumstances to “forget the self, practice the precepts, and serve others”? We aim to provide the practices and skillful means that enable you to live an awake life. In our view, everything in your life is practice itself.

The Center has a Teachers Circle that offers instruction and guidance under the direction of the Head Teacher, Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao. Circle members are Senseis (fully empowered Dharma Teachers) in the White Plum Lineage: Merle Kodo Boyd, Kipp Ryodo Hawley, John Daishin Buksbazen, Raul Ensho Berge, Patricia Shingetsu Guzy, Gary Koan Janka and Rabbi Don Ani Shalom Singer.

In addition, all members of the Sangha are teachers and students of one another through their stewardship of the Center. We are committed to individual and collective awakening.

To download the complete ZCLA Curriculum, please click here.


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