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About VZC

Clear Water is the name of the Zendo at the Vallejo Zen Center. It is a Soto Zen Buddhist Temple in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and the San Francisco and Berkeley Zen Centers. The center offers regular meditation, meditation instruction, classes, one-day sittings, work practice, lectures and special workshops.

We are a lay sangha and most of us work in the world. A few of us are retired. There are a few staff positions but all of them are volunteer. We do pay our Abbess a stipend. Everyone in the sangha helps to take care of Clear Water because it belongs to us and in taking such care, we care for one another as well.

The name of the zendo, Clear Water, Comes from a poem by Zen Master Dogen, “The Point of Zazen.”

Realization, neither general nor particular,
is effort without desire.
Clear water all the way to the bottom;
a fish swims like a fish.
Vast sky transparent throughout;
a bird flies like a bird.

The purpose of the zendo is to offer a place for us to practice clarity together, a place to sit down, quiet our minds and pay attention. Compassion grows from this. What else is there?

The priest at Clear Water, Mary Mocine, was trained at San Francisco and Berkeley Zen Centers, including four years at Tassajara Zen Monastery. She was ordained in 1994 by Sojun Mel Weitsman, former Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center and continuing Abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. Reverend Mocine has also trained with Abbess Zenkei Blanche Hartman and former Abbots Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Tenshin Reb Anderson of the San Francisco Zen Center. She received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in May 2005.