Our Intention

We are a group of friends on a voyage of discovery who get together every week to practice meditation, mainly following the Zen Buddhist tradition. Our practice flows from an understanding that all beings are Buddha and that to sit in meditation is in itself the realization of awakening.

We invite you to join us in this practice. We follow a simple and basic form inspired by the Soto Zen school, established by Dogen Zenji in Japan in the 13th century and transmitted to us in the West by the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, along with other contemporary teachers. The teachers whom we invite to Montaña Despierta each have their own personal style and experience, yet they all follow a style of transmission that can be described as “from warm hand to warm hand and from warm heart to warm heart”. In other words, this is a style characterized by a spirit of cordiality, wisdom, inclusion and compassion. By placing our mind and our heart in this precise moment, we can open ourselves up to the totality of human experience and bring more depth and spontaneity to our lives and to the entire world. Our tradition emphasizes the daily practice of sitting meditation (zazen), as well as integration between the formal practice (attending retreats) and everyday life. The spirit of our practice can be summed up in the phrase: “Realize your self, help others.”

We have discovered that this practice strengthens and supports the spiritual life of people from diverse religious backgrounds. We do not aim to change anyone´s religion. We welcome all who are interested in meditation practice, whether they are beginners or experienced meditators. We will be happy to offer basic meditation instructions and a general orientation for the practice.

We are happy to announce that in January 2014 we were officially invited to become part of San Francisco Zen Center Branching Streams Affiliate Sangha Network.

Affirmation of Welcome

Inspired by the code of ethics of the San Francisco Zen Center and other like-minded groups, we travel the human path expressing our intimate connection with all beings. The source of our sense of wonder is the mystery and vastness of human experience. Here, at Montaña Despierta, we welcome diversity and thus offer the opportunity to practice meditation to all people, regardless of race, nationality, social class, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, intellectual makeup, age or physical ability. May all beings realize their true nature.

Dogen Zenji (1200-1253)