Valley Dragon Zen is devoted to offering Zen 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.
We minimize traditional formality in favor of just creating a supportive environment for people to come together and sit, alone together.
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. We respectfully connect ourselves to this idea of places where dragons gather to practice being dragons – free from dogma, ideology, or manipulation.
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