Just Sitting—Opening and responding to all beings
Sitting meditation—called Just Sitting in the Soto Zen tradition—is the foundation of our practice. Just Sitting allows for a wide variety of individual meditation styles—breath concentration, koan work, attention to posture, observing thoughts, choice-less awareness, and so on.
The larger context of our meditation is simple and profound: opening and responding to all living beings, including their suffering. And importantly, opening to the living beings in our minds—thoughts, feelings, emotions and images—as well as animals and rocks and trees and mountains and waters. At least we wish to open in this way. And this includes being responsive and responsible together with all people—nearby and in the wide world.
Just Sitting is just sitting, and includes boundless activity…Reb Anderson
The results of meditation are ultimately unknowable. We may wish for calm, understanding, joy—usually we do—but we must relinquish any insistence on particular outcomes in order to really flourish. This letting go is essential to the practice, and maybe the hardest part. When we do let go, then we can really help ourselves and serve others.
Our meeting place—zendo in Zen parlance—is a school auditorium in the Oakland hills, surrounded by big trees and private homes. There are no permanent fixtures—altars, Buddha statues, bells and gardens. All our equipment fits in a suitcase and a cloth bag—“suitcase zen”, we say. Bring your own meditation cushions, too. This is frontier spirituality, based on ancient principles and practices as well as contemporary expression.
If you have not lived through something, it is not true.Kabir
Ocean Sangha is a membership-based practice group led by David Weinberg for people who wish to develop and sustain their meditation practice in a group setting over the long term. Membership includes retreats and one-on-one guidance from the teacher. Members pay a regular monthly fee. Ocean Sangha is part of Branching Streams—affiliates of San Francisco Zen Center.
David Weinberg has practiced Zen meditation since 1978 and is an ordained teacher in the Soto Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of San Francisco Zen Center. David is the founder and guiding teacher of Ocean Sangha. He lives in Oakland and practices Zen with his friends. He is a proud father and occasionally can be seen piloting a small airplane over our beautiful bays and hills.