Zen Life Series

Living a Life that Matters

The Zen Life Series is the second level of our Core Curriculum at Zen Life Meditation Center, Chicago. We are proud to be teaching this for the first time beginning in 2019. These classes will deepen and clarify the spiritual path of Zen and help you orient your life around greater meaning and purpose. This series will fully embrace the Zen Buddhist tradition along with important terms and philosophical teachings. It will focus on the teachings of the Six Paramitas. It will consist of 10 classes, taught once a week. The series will be taught twice a year (Spring and Fall) by Zen Master, Robert Joshin Althouse

The 2019 Schedule of Zen Life Series (all classes are taught on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm) is as follows:

April 4, 2019 to June 6, 2019 (finished)

September 19, 2019 to November 21, 2019

Cost: The series of ten classes costs $225 for nonmembers and $185 for members. Price per class is $30.

Zen Life 1: Awaken Heart: Living Wholeheartedly

This class will introduce you to the fundamental principles for living a Zen-inspired life. It will clarify the nature of the spiritual path and inspire you to more forward in your life with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.

This class will present concepts of “Samsara” “Awakening” “Bodhicitta”, “Bodhisattva Vow” and “Saddharma”

Zen Life 2: Residing in the Gap: Letting Go

This class will build on the Foundations of Mindfulness series by showing you what comes next in the Zen spiritual path. You will learn how to embrace and practice a path of practice designed to free you from suffering.

This class will present concepts of “Letting Go”, “the Gap”, “No Self”, “Prajna”, “Sunyata” and “Madyamika”.

Zen Life 3: Non-Duality: Big Mind

This class will use a Big Mind facilitation to give you an experiential map of living a Zen-inspired life. It will help clarify in a direct and experiential way, the importance of cultivating a larger, non-dual and integrated perspective on your daily life.

Zen Life 4: Generosity: Overcoming Greed

This class will help you learn to trust your natural generosity which allows you to extend yourself in ways that help free you from the clinging of desire that causes so much suffering. You will discover the joy of letting go into a space of greater whole-heartedness. This class will present concepts of “dana”, “natural generosity”, “3 kinds of giving” and “natural generosity”

Zen Life 5: Discipline: Overcoming Ignorance

This class will support you to strengthen your commitment and resolve by alligning your deepest aspirations with a joyful disciplined life of practice and service. This class will present concepts of “karma”, “sila”, “precepts”, “3 categories of morality” and “3 kinds of discipline”.

Zen Life 6: Patience: Overcoming Aggression

This class will help you begin to overcome all kinds of irritations that stir up trouble and anxiety in your life. You will learn how the practice of patience is the antidote to the suffering of anger. The class will present concepts of “kshanti”, “3 kinds of patience”, and “3 categories of patience”.

Zen Life 7: Council Circle

This class will use council circle process to explore and integrate class teachings presented so far in the series.

Zen Life 8: Energy: Overcoming Laziness

This class will teach you how to channel your energy without being attached to the outcome. It will help you trust and work harder in your life, by uplifting yourself with a cheerful sense of humor in the face of all kinds of challenges and difficulties. The class will present concepts of “virya”, “courage”, and “continuous practice”

Zen Life 9: Meditation: Awakening in Ordinary Life

This class will help you appreciate many of the subtleties of meditation in your daily life, at work, in relationships and in all other aspects of your life. This class will teach concepts of “samten”, “samadhi”, “3 levels of meditation” and “4 brahmaviharas”

Zen Life 10: Wisdom: Dropped Off Body and Mind

This class will help integrate the previous classes through trusting your own direct experience of prajna wisdom. It will help you learn how to apply this wisdom in your own experience and access it to help cut through obstacles and difficulties. This class will teach concepts of “prajna”, “dropped off body and mind”, “upaya”, “cutting sword” and “sunyata”.


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Equity Policy: The Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago is committed to providing dharma teachings to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. We have set up a Dharma Fund which our members contribute to in order to support this policy. As a result, partial scholarships are always available for any of our programs or offerings.