Ordinary Mind Sacramento Guidelines

These preliminary guidelines are offered by Robert Rosenbaum for discussion.
As the sangha develops, they will naturally evolve.

Deeply Ordinary
All forms of Zen see the dharma realized in everyday activity.
We emphasize ordinary activity
is the dharma.
      Family life, work, play, our relationships with people and the world which sustains us - these are our Buddha fields.
Laying down a path by walking
Our practice is alive. It changes in response to circumstances.
      Sangha emerges from our practice, and our practice emerges from our sangha.
Home Sweet Home
At OMZ we do not make a distinction between home-leavers (monks) and lay people. All sangha members are commoners - we hold the Dharma in common with each other.
      We do not have to leave home to practice. Our practice is to return, again and again, to our original true home without clinging to anything or pushing anything away.
Nothing Special, Nothing Hidden
There is no “more” or “less” to devotion. Everyone has full access to the dharma. Learning and teaching are two sides to one practice.
      All members of the sangha can receive training to fill any of the sangha positions and to conduct ceremonies. It is not necessary to receive lay ordination or priest ordination to participate fully,
Precepts
Practicing the Buddhist precepts helps promote a harmonious, satisfying life together with all we encounter. We approach the precepts not as fixed moral commandments but as koans, which challenge us to figure out how to express them in the specific circumstances of everyday life.
      We encourage everyone, when they are ready, to study and take the precepts formally in a ceremony with the sangha.
Practice is not Preparation
We do not meditate to become enlightened - we meditate as an expression of the enlightenment we share with all being.
      Zazen and all we do in the Zendo are complete in themselves. They are not exercises in self-improvement or attempts to achieve some future purity. Zazen and Zendo practice's being-in-itself reminds us to return to
just this in all our activities.
Minding Mind
Mind is ungraspable. Mindfulness is full engagement. Original Mind and conditioned mind fit together like foot before and foot behind in walking.
      Meditation helps us touch Original Mind: unconditioned, unborn, undying. This very mind is the enlightened basis of our practice.
      Our conditioned mind reflects our individual experience. Psychological insight and behavior change help us cope with this conditioning.
Formality and Freedom
Our forms give us a space in which to practice, a way to share together what we do in the zendo. We follow the forms whole-heartedly while letting go of judgments of self or other.
      All zendo forms are available to be led by everyone, but training in the forms is necessary. We value both non-hierarchical equality and the value of teacher-student relationships.
Every where, Every when
We encourage daily meditation practice. We offer a place where people can meditate regularly; this provides us with a foundation for our Ordinary Mind practice which is continuous. Continuous practice is not confined to a schedule here but not there, at some times but not others. As Eihei Dogen wrote in Genjo Koan ("Actualizing the Fundamental Point"):

When you find your place where you are
practice occurs
actualizing the fundamental point.


When you find your way at this moment
practice occurs
actualizing the fundamental point.

For the place, the way
is neither large nor small
neither yours nor others'
has not carried over from the past
and it is not merely arising now.