About

Valley Dragon Zen Sangha is devoted to offering Buddhist Dharma study and practice in the Albuquerque area. Our primary activity is the practice of zazen or seated meditation, specifically as presented in the teachings of Eihei Dogen (1200-1252), Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971) and other practitioners of the Soto Zen school. In zazen, we just sit, without expectation of a particular result; we are oriented by the recognition that joyfully settling upright in silent stillness can itself be ennobling and healing.

Our name derives from our location in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. Gu Shen, or “the Valley Spirit”, is an ideal upheld by the traditions from which Zen emerges. It is described as ever receptive, ever nourishing, cool and compassionately responsive. In East Asia, dragons represent the vibrant yang (or active) principle, and enlightening beings of various sorts can also be deemed “dragons” to designate their vitality and wisdom. Two temples with which we are connected also contain ‘dragon’ in their names. We respectfully connect ourselves to this lineage of places where dragons gather to practice being dragons.

Our guiding teacher is senior Dharma teacher and scholar, Rev. Taigen Daniel Leighton, PhD of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, with the support other wonderful Dharma teachers and friends including Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Hozan Alan Senauke. We practice in the tradition of Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki, founder of San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara Zen Monastery, and Green Gulch Farm/Green Dragon Temple.

Co-founder Keizan Titus O’Brien is the current practice leader. Co-founder Taisan Joe Galewsky remains on hiatus due to family and work commitments.

Unless otherwise noted, we meet every Sunday night at 7pm (rather than our previous Monday nights) and every second Saturday afternoon at Dragonfly Yoga Studio.

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