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Common Membership Questions

How do I become a member?
To become a member online, login or create an account, then go to the Membership Application page; or download a printable PDF membership form, fill it out, and mail or bring it to the temple or monastery.

​Can I pay dues online?
Yes. Visit the Donate page. You can choose single or monthly payments. 

If I become a member, am I a Buddhist?
No. People become Buddhists when they receive Jukai, during which one vows to live a life in accord with the sixteen Buddhist precepts in a ceremony before the whole sangha (community). It usually takes several years before someone reaches that level of commitment through ongoing practice and service in the community, and with permission of the teachers.

What does membership cost?
Membership levels are detailed on the Membership page. Many people contribute more or make additional contriubtions throughout the year. You might consider declaring one hour of work each week to the Dharma and Sangha. For example, if you are paid $25.00 per hour, you might pay dues of $100 per month as a Red Cedar Member, or if you make $12.50 an hour, you might consider a Mountian Maple Membership of $50 per month.

What if I can't afford any of the membership levels?
A Noble Fir Member pledges what they can afford. Lack of funds should never stand in the way of joining the ZCO community. Please send an email to the chair of Membership and offer what you can.

How can I meet with Chozen or Hogen?
The most powerful way to meet with a teacher is in sanzen (private interview). Sanzen is available at 10 a.m. on most Sundays at Great Vow Zen Monastery, at 7:30 p.m. on most Sunday evenings at Heart of Wisdom, and during sesshin (long meditation retreats). Active members can also meet informally with the teachers at Great Vow Tuesdays through Saturdays, teachers' time permitting. To arrange an informal meeting, please call 503-728-0654. You can also meet with one of the Dharma Holders who live in Portland for practice support. Please see About > Teachers and Dharma Holders.

If you have further questions about membership please email the chair of the Membership Committee.