Although our daily and Sunday periods of Zen meditation are central to the life of O-An, the events and activities we host and sponsor extend like spokes of a wheel from its hub. We recognize that our sangha has needs and interests that relate to, but extend beyond the limits of our regular program. And we acknowledge a greater sangha that extends beyond the limits of our own Zen practice community to the larger community of which we are a part.
In addition to our seasonal celebrations, special Zen events include weekend sesshin (meditation retreats) and full Days of Mindfulness. We also offer Jukai, a lay ordination ceremony during which a sangha member receives the Ten Buddhist Precepts.
Since Zen practice, particularly in the Japanese tradition, finds expression and support in many art forms, and since many of our sangha members are skilled in a wide range of arts, O-An offers workshops in the arts which supplement and enhance formal meditation practice—workshops, for example, in scroll-making, calligraphy and brush painting, haiku, wood working, collage and movement improvisation.
The zendo is open for daily informal yoga, holds weekly yoga and t’ai chi classes, and offers a monthly Kirtan (Hindu devotional chanting). Accomplished teachers from many spiritual traditions have passed through our doors giving lectures, demonstrations, and workshops. Please contact us for details.
O-An serves our larger community as a venue for mediation and conflict resolution, for educational meetings and visioning sessions, for yoga teacher training courses, house concerts, and more personally significant occasions such as birthdays, memorial services, and weddings.
Local teachers and college professors bring students to O-An to learn the basics of Buddhism and Zen meditation. Additionally, representatives from O-An have led meditation groups for neighboring churches and religious groups as well as for a small but devoted group of Zen practitioners at Rockview Penitentiary in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania.
In these and other forms of outreach, O-An expresses its commitment to engaged Buddhist practice, to the health and well-being of the ever-expanding community of life with which we are inextricably connected.