The Sangha within the Zenkondo movement is as diverse and rich as the spiritual heritage from which our vowed (ordained) and lay practitioners come.
The foundation of the Zenkondo Sangha can be found in our order of vowed contemplative practitioners, who are men and women trained in the fundamentals and philosophy of Zenkondo, and having studied the timeless wisdom of the Buddha dharma, the Science of Mind and ancient insight of the Tao.
As ordained practitioners, their level of involvement is greater and their commitment to serve others is stronger, because they recognise that replacing political or religious leaders, imprisoning wrongdoers, inciting war and violence on our fellow beings, even the act of actively serving those in need, will not ultimately remedy the cause of suffering in this world, or any other. An ordained practitioner therefore takes full and 100% responsibility for their experiences in this life, and knows that the only real change that can every occur, must occur from within.
Our Sangha’s lay practitioners share the same kind of commitment and desire to cultivate awareness and responsibility, while adapting their spiritual and personal development practices to their particular station in life, vocation, family and personal commitments.
Both the lay and ordained practitioners of Zenkondo make up what is known as the Contemplative Order of Compassion. Directly inspired by the example and vision of Dharma Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Tiep Hien community, the Contemplative Order of Compassion is a community of monastics and lay persons, who have committed to living their lives in accordance with the Five Precepts of Mindfulness and the Fourteen Monastic Precepts — a distillation of the Bodhisattva Ideal of Mahayana Buddhism.
While we are non-sectarian, post-denominational and radically inclusive, our community is comprised of individuals, for whom various spiritual traditions and cultural practices play a central role, as they grow in their understanding of the Dharma. The Contemplative Order of Compassion supports and encourages these diverse individual expressions of spirituality, and rejects all forms of dogmatism, creedal statements and imposition of any religious rituals, traditions, scriptures or doctrines on its members.
We welcome any individual who wishes to follow a radical path of compassion, service to humanity, and personal discovery to join us, either as a member of our lay practitioners community, or through entry into the course of monastic study, in which one is eventually ordained according to the original principles of Buddhism and the ancient Apostolic tradition, once called “The Way of Christ”. The path we follow, and the spirituality into which our monks are ordained is simply referred to as “the Dharma of Boundless (Primordial) Compassion,” or Zenkondo.
We operate as a monastery without walls, with operations in North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Thailand, Philippines, India and Malaysia.