Green Gulch Zen Center: Community
According to the Green Gulch website, the center has a strong relationship with community involvement. On Sundays they have a public program for a five-dollar donation. It includes Meditation, Dharma talk, tea, lecture and lunch. They also offer an assisted hearing program if necessary. Additionally, they have carpooling options for people without reliable transportation. They are open to all ages because they have children’s activities. It relates to the idea of “place attachment,” because the participation of both the monks and the broader community in Sunday activities creates social cohesion and a shared Zen Buddhist identity.
The visiting of Green Gulch fosters a spiritual curiosity among the community. It also is very important to the Monks that already practice there. They have a volunteer program, which creates more involvement for people get religious enrichment. The next community involvement opportunity is for people to be a “volunteer Sangha.” As a volunteer, a person can participate more regularly. Volunteers can help with work in the morning of any weekday and then stay for lunch. The possible volunteer activities include, farm work, gardening, helping with the watershed work party, kitchen work, muffin making, general maintenance, Sunday program and kids activities.
The historic value of green gulch steams from the history of western Zen Buddhism in the 1970’s. The sustainable agriculture practices developed at Green Gulch contributed to the sustainable farming significance throughout the Bay Area. The educational value is also important in historical heritage. At Green Gulch, the education grows from both the study of Zen Practice and the agricultural knowledge. Residents and Visitors of Green Gulch can learn from the historical Zen teachings and specific skills like gardening, tea ceremonies, silent meals and meditation.
The Cultural value discusses core elements of culture such as ideas, and habits. The Green Gulch center caters to a vast audience by offering cultural activities for all ages and Zen experience levels. Specific children’s activities include ritual arts and meditation on the first Sunday of each month. Also there is a coming of age group for 7th and 8th graders. It is an educational program and discussion for young adults.
Part of Aesthetic Value is the opportunity for community to enjoy staying at Green Gulch as a guest. Guests have a beautiful, peaceful room and three vegetarian meals. They have access to the library, hiking trails, meditation rooms and tea ceremonies. There are also work shifts in which guest can come to work for the morning and participate in morning Zazan. Meals are silent the first ten minutes.