Engaged Compassion:

Buddhism is based on the inevitability of human suffering and founded in the efforts to alleviate it. The Mahayana Buddhist movement, of which Zen is part, is dedicated to universal salvation, achieving salvation, healing and liberation for oneself and for all creation. Our Zen Vows express these aspirations that we may be Bodhisattvas, Zen practitioners working on ourselves and in the world to become dynamic energy fields of benefaction:

Creations are numberless – I vow to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible – I vow to transform them.
Reality is boundless – I vow to perceive it.
The enlightened way is unsurpassable – I vow to embody it.

Service as a way of being

The 8th Core Practice of the Zen Garland Order is to embody “Service as a way of being.” This means living with care and empathic connection every moment, treating everything as our very selves. The spirit of this is “no separation,” such deep immersion in our living that there is no server, no one served, and no service – just authentic, natural action. Of course, this is aspirational and the ground of why and how we practice being.

Ancient Oaks and The Zen Garland Order are committed to publicly offering practices and places for practice that responsibly guide people toward salvation, healing, and liberation. Inside our community work across the Zen Garland Order, we hold space for the difficulties and suffering that arise for individuals, families, groups, and communities. Our holistic approach to practice means we engage all aspects of life in generative spaces that encourage expression, revelations of the interconnectedness of life, and reveal the inherent humanity of our shared existence.

We are mission committed to make special efforts to engage with marginalized, disadvantaged, disabled and poor individuals and communities. We are inspired by the words of Kobo Daishi, “The measure of a person’s enlightenment is how they treat ‘others’.” In this spirit, all our centers have been working to provide refugee resettlement and safety world-wide through our practitioners and centers in Germany, Poland and around the USA.

We are directly participating in the work of Dr. Joanne Kyouji Cacciatore, a Priest and Dharma Holder in the Zen Garland Order and founder of the MISS foundation and the Selah Care Farm, which provide Bereavement Care & Counseling and a sanctuary for families who have suffered the traumatic loss of a close loved one.

The administrators at Ancient Oaks, as at all Zen Garland Order training centers, find ways for our organization to participate in various social service projects. We invite our friends and members to join us and engage in these good works.