The Kent Zendo is a non-profit group and a Buddhist sangha (community) in the Soto Zen Buddhism tradition. Our aim is to offer all those interested the opportunity to sit with a community in a variety of formats; from regular meetings on the campus of Kent State University, to residential weekend retreats in northeast and central Ohio serving the residents of Kent, Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and surrounding areas. We have a dedicated interest in serving the needs of the less fortunate and donate regularly to a variety of charitable causes.
About Zen Buddhism
All natural experience entails at least a slight degree of “unsatisfactoriness”. This is caused by a false view of one’s existence, which in turn causes desire for things which do not exist, at least in the way we imagine. We constantly struggle unnecessarily with ourselves and our environment until we uproot the cause of this false desire: the insistence on the belief in an unchanging immutable and potentially eternal “self” or “soul”.
This is achieved through a life of meditation and morality, culminating in the experience of “enlightenment” or spiritual awakening. With this experience, one sees things as they are: not fixed and static, but in a constant joyous flux in which all things are interdependent.
Who We Are
The Kent Zendo is a group of persons who practice zazen, the traditional form of meditation taught in Zen Buddhism. The only requirement to learn and practice zazen with us is a sincere interest. There are no dues, levels of membership, and no ordinations. We make no formal distinctions such as “priest” or “layperson”.
Zazen is a simple, easily learned practice of sitting quietly with awareness on a cushion or chair, holding a particular posture and letting thoughts, feelings, and perceptions come and go as they will. Through this practice, it is possible to gain insight into the workings of the mind and body, and also to find a stability that can be carried into daily life.
Instruction in zazen is free. Tim McCarthy, our Zen teacher, was a student of the late Kobun Chino Otagawa, Roshi. We meet most Sundays from 11 AM to 1 PM. See the Events page for a detailed schedule.