For Zen Buddhism to flourish in modern society, its practice must not only be deeply informed by tradition, but must also develop forms which fully realize, express and transmit the Dharma in lay practice.
To that end, the Lay Zen Teachers Association is a sangha specifically for lay teachers: those who have been formally entrusted to teach in their respective Zen lineages and who have chosen to teach not as priests but as lay people.
The LZTA's purposes are:
- To offer peer support and opportunities for lay Zen teachers to share their understanding and skillful means with each other.
- To develop forms which fully realize, express and transmit the Dharma in lay practice, while maintaining and respecting those traditions compatible with lay teaching and lay life.
- To foster dialogue and interaction among ourselves and with other teachers and lineages, as we clarify the meaning and roles of laypeople, priests, and monks within contemporary Western Buddhism.
- To facilitate educational activities relevant to issues that arise in the teaching and practice of Zen in lay settings.
LZTA membership is open to an applicant who:
- Is formally recognized as a Zen teacher by a teacher who has been so recognized.
- Would give dharma transmission or entrustment to a lay person, if so authorized.
- Has lay practice as his or her focus in teaching and who does not offer priest or monastic training.
- Primarily identifies him or herself as a lay person.
- Supports the mission statement of LZTA.
There is also a Friends category: recognized Zen teachers who are nonmembers and who support the mission of LZTA.
If you are interested in applying to be a member or friend of LZTA, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.