Sangha

 
   Frequently Asked Questions


 

Are newcomers welcome?
     Yes, newcomers are welcome to attend any scheduled sittings. Generally, we encourage newcomers who have never practiced Zen to attend an orientation held most Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. (see Schedules / Weekly Practice)


What should I wear to the Zen Center?
     Wear loose comfortable clothes, something you would feel comfortable wearing to sit on a cushion on the floor or on a chair. Please avoid wearing loud colors or patterns.

I am not a Buddhist. Can I still participate?
     Yes. Zen practice does not require believing in specific doctrines. There are Zen Center members who practice/sit and also attend church/synagogue.


Do I have to read anything/know anything about Zen before coming to the Center?
    No, Zen practice is not about “knowing” something in the usual intellectual, conceptual sense. Zen practice is experiencing life directly. The best way to “know” Zen practice is to “do” it.


I am stiff/older/injured and can’t sit on a cushion. Can I still do Zen practice?
     Yes, many people sit on chairs rather than cushions. An assortment of cushions, benches and chairs are available at the Center.


Are there health related benefits from meditation practice?
    
Although we don't generaly approach Zen practice from a "goal orientated" perspective, many people have reported health benefits from daily meditation such as stress reduction, etc.


Do I have to become a member of the Center to sit at the Center?
     No, the Center is open to all. Those who regularly attend sittings and interviews or call for phone interviews are asked to become members and support the Center (see About PZC / Membership & Support).

I don’t live in Champaign-Urbana. How can I participate?
     More than half of our members do not live in the Champaign-Urbana area. These members phone for interviews on a regular basis, come to sit at the Center from time-to-time, and maintain their sitting practice with groups in their area or on their own. Out of town members attend sesshin (3-5 day practice opportunities) as their life situations permit.