SOTOZEN-NET > Tempel der Sotoshu > Organisation und Tempel außerhalb Japans (Englisch) > Houston Zen Center
Houston Zen Center began in 1995. It is a lay group of Zen practitioners. In 1999, Konjin Gaelyn Godwin began to visit the group from her home at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the monastery of San Francisco Zen Center. Konjin had lived at Tassajara for many years at that time.
n 2003 Houston Zen Community bought a small building in Houston and Konjin Godwin moved to Houston to become the Abiding Teacher of the Houston Zen Center. The temple opened on September 6, 2003. The temple is located in a residential area in Houston, north of the downtown area. In 2007, having outgrown the first temple, the members purchased a building three times larger, just north of the original temple, and relocated. The members held another opening ceremony, and many dignitaries attended, including the Mayor of Houston, Bill White.
The members are almost entirely lay practitioners with careers and family responsibilities. The members come from all walks of life: teachers, physicians, many scientists, students, therapists, firemen, executives, attorneys, businesspeople, etc.
The Center is open every day for morning and evening zazen. The schedule allows the members to practice zazen in the morning before going to work, or in the evening, after work. On Saturday there is a large gathering, which includes morning service, zazen, soji, teisho, and a social gathering. On Sunday there is zazen and a sewing class for people who are preparing for jukai and are sewing rakusu.
There is monthly sitting for one-day, longer sittings throughout the year, and a yearly Rohatsu Sesshin. Teachers from all over the country are invited to teach and the Center hosts visiting teachers at least every other month. In addition, Konjin Godwin travels to teach in various places including Austin and San Antonio in Texas; Montana; and various places in California.
Members of Houston Zen Center who are interested in intensive training have traveled to California, New York and New Mexico to participate in formal sesshin and Ango. The Center will offer its first Ango in 2009, since the building is large enough to accommodate overnight practice.
The Center is also focusing on expanding its current property. A new residence for the Abiding Teacher is underway and, due to Houston requirements, the Center will have to provide parking for numerous vehicles. Thus, a landscaped parking area adjacent to the temple is underway, along with the Abiding Teacher’s new quarters.
The Center welcomes new visitors throughout the year and offers several popular introductory classes for people who are new to Zen. Houston Zen Center is the only Zen temple in the large city of Houston and thus strives to welcome people to zazen and to Zen practice.
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