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All Are Welcome

Regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, ability, education level, religious or political views, traumas or personal history.

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What does Open Door Zen teach?

We teach Hollow Bones Zen, a training method that brings the benefits of meditative living developed over 3700 years to those embedded in a 21st-century lifestyle.

Our Hollow Bones are the structures that support our spiritual awakening and subsequent growth. Practicing together, we are able to understand, transform and transcend our habitual, negative reactions; replacing them with wise, compassionate responses. 

By realizing who we really are, we unleash our human potential for lives of freedom and joy. We do this through the practice of three iterative and mutually supportive steps:


Step 1: Two Ways of Knowing

One way of knowing is through the study of various teaching from people who have direct experience. This creates a skillful understanding, which is the essential starting point for any task. This is even more true in the realm of spiritual practice since all meditative experiences are translated into the worldview we currently inhabit. We call this "philosophical reorientation".

The other way of knowing is through our own direct experience. This is where it all comes together, and meditation is the ideal technique for examining and integrating our lives. We call such a direct, experiential, and life-changing experience a "genuine insight".

Over time, we have come to learn that meditation with an incorrect understanding not only limits our insight but can lead to suppression of feelings, rigid self-identification, ego-inflation, mania, and spiritual materialism. Conversely, meditation with a skillful understanding can provide fertile ground to realize the potential wisdom, compassion, and contentment already present within the human being.

Direct experience of this deeper truth lies at the core of Zen.


Step II: Emotional Maturity & Integrity

Informed by this deeper truth, we engage in a process of deconditioning and reconditioning, transforming and transcending, the various elements within our psyche which are out of alignment. Wherever we notice thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of thought, word, or deed that create suffering, we will rest in awareness, get the deeper information from the thoughts/feelings beneath the behavior, and choose a new behavior that aligns with our interconnection, interpenetration, and interdependency.


Step III: Conscious Embodiment & Sacred Stewardship

Taking meditation into movement and movement into meditation, we realize that the body/mind, samsara/nirvana, self/other, and all other dichotomies are fundamental misapprehensions of our experience. We open up to the complete collapse and integration of all states and experiences into a willful surrender and radical acceptance of life. From this clear deep heart/mind emerges the spontaneous wisdom, fearless compassion, and skillful means of awakening.

As we embody these meditative insights it becomes imperative that we take care of the Earth and its beings. For example, we seek to understand how we can give more back to the Earth than we take from it. We ask, in what ways can we positively impact harmful separation within our communities? What message are we sending with our purchasing habits? This inquiry into truly showing up is rich and without end… but it’s not the end.

As we rub up against the world we find new dualisms to include and transcend, new unskillful reactive patterns of behavior to recondition, new insights, and new cognitive understandings. 

What would you like to say about practicing at Open Door Zen?

Dan is an incredible teacher - truly one of a kind. He is a dedicated practitioner, and is passionate about helping others find peace within and realize their potential. He brings with him vast life experience with a deep knowledge & understanding of buddhist teachings. He is patient, inquisitive, compassionate, and an excellent communicator. I encourage anyone interested in Zen and eastern teachings to come, sit and learn more. Dan is very knowledgeable and an absolute joy to be around. 

Nolan S.

Umi Dan Rotnem

Head Priest

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Interested in Meditation and don't know where to start?

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Regardless of who you are or where you are on your journey, we would love to hear from you!

Just send us an e-mail and Dan, our head instructor, will get back to you within 48 hours. 

If you prefer texting or a phone call, please let him know and leave your number. 

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