Origins and Lineage
Our origin was with a few members willing to climb through a second story window once a week to get to our zendo in a condemned building. In 1975 we organized as the Blue Ridge Zen Group, and now have a walk-in zendo for daily practice in Charlottesville. We also use our Flattop Mountain Zendo in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains for retreats ranging from one to seven days. On Flattop, in addition to zazen (sitting meditation), we emphasize samu (work practice), and a healthy amount of kinhin (walking meditation) on nearly two miles of mountain trail. For more about our practice on Flattop, including a video, see the retreat section.
We are in the Myoshin-ji temple lineage of the Rinzai Zen tradition as introduced to America by Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, in which tradition, our abbot, Teido (Bill) Stephens, is ordained. Anyone willing to make the effort to sit quietly and blend in is welcome to join us; you needn't consider yourself a Buddhist. Newcomers to Zen are especially welcome, and introductory instruction is available (see schedule).
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