Living in a Zen community is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a way to deepen their practice in a supportive environment. PZC is located on a fifty acre wooded property in the outskirts of Cumberland, Rhode Island, about 20 minutes from Providence and one hour from Boston. The serene woodland location provides an ideal setting for Zen practice, while our proximity to Providence and Boston allow easy access to the arts, culture, and fine dining in the city. Since PZC is the head temple of the Kwan Um School of Zen, there are several opportunities each year to participate in events such as Sangha weekends and Dharma teacher retreats which are attended by Sangha members from across the US and around the world, and to attend talks and interviews with visiting KUSZ teachers.
PZC can be much more economical than living alone or sharing a house or apartment with roommates. The monthly fee is currently $675 for a private room with shared bathrooms throughout the building. Food and filtered drinking water are provided for residents, and each week several meals are prepared for the community by the kitchen master and resident volunteers. In the summer months we grow much of our own produce in our organic garden and our free range chickens provide us with all the eggs we need. There is plenty of support for practice, with group practice being offered every morning and evening 7 days a week, monthly weekend retreats, and long Kyol Che retreats each Winter and Summer. Residents can receive regular interviews and attend talks by our guiding teachers and visiting KUSZ teachers. The monthly training fee covers all retreats at PZC (including the long Kyol Che retreats),all utilities, and wireless broadband internet access throughout the building.
Zen Master Seung Sahn has always encouraged his students to live together in Zen centers where they can derive strength and support from each other’s continuing practice. The regular schedule of practicing, eating and working together acts as a backdrop for seeing our karma appear and disappear. We use the analogy of washing potatoes together in a big pot of water. As the potatoes bump into one another, they clean each other more quickly and efficiently than if each potato was cleaned individually. In the Zen center, we can see clearly how our opinions create problems by coming between us and the situation that we find ourselves in. When we let go of these opinions it is possible to live our every day lives with clarity and harmony. As we learn to cooperate, to see clearly and to accept people and situations as they really are, our minds become strong and wide. Then it becomes possible to act harmoniously and help other people with no trace of ourselves. If you are at all interested in coming to live at PZC for any period of time, or would like more information on residential training, please contact the PZC Director.