Engaged Buddhism

Zen practice is a wholehearted engagement with all dimensions of life. We do not seek to escape the complex systems that govern the human world, but to enter them as gates of awakening.

At the heart of awakening is the vibrant truth of interconnection. All beings are mysteriously linked in a web of evolving relationships. Free from attachment, compassion flows forth to transform relative structures – personal, cultural, ecological, social economic, technological. The bodhisattva vow is infinite in its manifestations. This is our collective liberation!

Engaged Buddhism Committee’s Core Values

  1. To acknowledge and respond to the suffering caused by inherent biases and prejudices based on systems of power and oppression by promoting and integrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout ZCO and in the larger community.
  2. To acknowledge and respond to the climate crisis that threatens all life on earth by working internally and locally to support environmental sustainability.
  3. To be a good neighbor by identifying and responding to needs in the local neighborhood that we may be uniquely positioned to positively affect.
  4. To identify and offer education and activities about these issues for ZCO leadership, Teachers, Sangha members and the larger community.
  5. To fulfill our Bodhisattva vow by infusing these activities with compassion, Zen Buddhist tradition, Dharma and practice for the benefit of all beings.


Inclusivity statement

The Zen Community of Oregon welcomes everyone. We study together and practice for the benefit of all beings and this living earth. We recognize the suffering caused by biases, prejudices, systems of power, privilege, and oppression based on race, sex, class, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. We aspire to do no harm and to dismantle barriers that cause separation and suffering, recognizing that our liberation is interconnected with the liberation of all.

Awakening to Whiteness

Awakening to Whiteness is structured as an “affinity group” for white people to explore the elements that have contributed to this often unconscious identity. We explore in this way with an understanding that our own liberation/awakening is intimately bound to one another. Our work is inspired by White Awake, a non-profit whose mission is to combat white supremacy by focusing on educational resources and spiritual practices designed to engage people who’ve been socially categorized as “white” in the creation of a just and sustainable society. We express appreciation to that organization.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Zen Community of Oregon is committed to racial justice and being an anti-racist organization. We have an active committee working to analyze our current practices and procedures, to help transform ZCO into a more inclusive community that prioritizes equity. Check back regularly to hear more about our progress.