Orlando Zen Center is a residential center with space for 2 residents. Residents are committed practitioners and members of the Kwan Um School of Zen. There is currently an opening for 1 resident in our Zen Center. To any interested KUSZ members and friends around the world, Orlando is a great city and we have a nice facility in which to deepen your practice.
Former resident Brian was kind enough to answer some questions about Zen Center life.
How long have you been practicing?
I’ve been interested and “practicing” Zen (on and off, more off than off though) since I was 15yrs old.
How long did you live in the Zen Center?
I lived at OZC (Orlando Zen Center) for a little over a year, 2015-2016.
Why did you move into the Zen Center?
Well, one of the reasons I moved in was to have a chance to deepen my practice.
What is the schedule for residents?
When I first moved into the center it had a lot less scheduled times for practice than it does now. Claudia (OZC abbot) slowly added days and times for practice until there was scheduled practice everyday of the week. By the time I left; the day, Mon- Fri, at OZC began at 6:30am with 108 bows. Followed by two periods of 25 mins. sitting at 7am with 5mins. of walking in between. There is also chanting and sitting practice, Tuesday 7pm – 8pm. Special chanting and sitting practice on Thursday 6:30pm – 8pm. Saturday is 25mins of sitting and 5mins of walking practice. All the above days of practice are held at the Orlando Zen Center while Sunday chanting and sitting practice, 7pm – 8ish, are held at that the Pranic Healing Center (formerly Shine on Yoga).
What are a resident’s duties?
A resident should prepare the center by cleaning and setting up all the common areas that would be used for practice (dharma room, tea room, bathroom,back porch and back walkway). Residents are also there to welcome and introduce guests and sangha members to the center.
What was your favorite part of living in the ZC?
Honestly, I loved the neighborhood and the house. My favorite part though was living in a place that people came to practice the dharma, in all that entails.
Least favorite part?
When no one would show up.
Would you recommend the experience to someone else?
Absolutely! It was an opportunity of a lifetime.
Do you have any advice for someone considering living in a ZC?
Be prepared to give up a certain amount of your personal life and time and choices. If you can be open to the experience it will truly change your life!
Any especially memorable experiences?
I don’t think I was a resident yet but I was watching the center and Claudia’s cat Sebastian while Claudia was away for 2 weeks. Claudia conveniently left a ton / ton and a half of mulch in the driveway for me spread out. This mound of mulch was oval shaped and at least 5ft tall x 10ft wide (at its widest) x 5ft (at its narrowest). The first week I would go out twice a day for 2 to 3 hours at a time and spread mulch. By the end of the first week the mound of mulch seemed the same size as when I started. By the middle of the next week the mound still didn’t look that much better. But fortunately Franco, a friend and sangha member, volunteered to help. He and I knocked it out in no time! Thanks! Franco. That was a very good day.