weetwater Zen Center was founded in January of 2000 as a satellite group of Zen Mountain Center. Anne Seisen Saunders, as co-Abbot of Zen Mountain Center, relocated to National City, CA and started the new Zen Center. National City is an immigrant neighborhood in the South Bay of San Diego. On March 11, 2004 the Sweetwater Zen Center became an independent non-profit entity separate from Zen Mountain Center. At the same time Seisen (then Sensei) became the first Abbot of the Sweetwater Zen Center.
Junyu Kuroda Roshi gave Sweetwater Zen Center the name of Kosenin or Temple of a Fountain of Light in 2003.
The Zen Center has 10 cottages where 15-20 practitioners live and also has an active membership of people who do not live at the center. There is a large yurt which serves as the Zendo and a Buddha Hall as well as other common areas such as kitchen and office.
We practice in a traditional manner with a three month training period in the summer, a month long around the New Year and another month long during the Spring Break. Our formal practice centers on three aspects: zazen, study with a teacher and Native American council.
Seisen Roshi trained many years with Maezumi Roshi and received Shiho and Inka from Bernie Glassman Roshi. Therefore SWZC is associated with the White Plum Asanga and the Zen Peacemakers. As Peacemakers we follow the tenants of Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Loving Action. We are actively engaged in many aspects of our community including teaching meditation in local prisons, participating in programs to promote border harmony, creating art projects that involve our neighborhood, and other community action. We also recognize that there is more than one way to see the oneness of all things. Students are encouraged to explore practices from traditional and contemporary spiritual paths and we encourage interfaith activity.
The website is www.swzc.org.
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