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Lay & Monastic Community

The Way of the Lay Member

Lay practitioners have always been a vital part of Zen-Buddhism. The history of lay practice goes back to the time of the Buddha and the great lay practitioner Vimalakirti.

The Order’s training facility supports lay practitioners who work in the world and maintain families and households. Seijaku Roshi designed a path to "lay-ordination" which recognizes the valuable contribution Laypersons make toward spreading the Dharma of Loving-kindness and Compassion.

The Path to Monastic Ordination

To be ordained in the Order of The Great Lights is to serve the teachers and sangha as a vocation. It is a lifelong commitment, providing a unique opportunity within spiritual life. Monastics in the Order maintain the Zendo and facilities for current practitioners and for generations to come.

The process leading to full ordination is long and demanding. Requirements include at least four years of training as a formal student, with a minimum of two years as a Lay-Monk. This graded approach allows students to find out through experience whether monastic life is right for them, revealing the difference between the reality of committing one’s life to the Buddhadharma and any romantic notions about Zen training and monastic life.

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