Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Settling in at Red Cedar Zen 

(the first year or two)

Once you have a sense of the basics there's a period of settling in more deeply, learning more of the terminology and format, feeling more connected with the sangha, and starting to feel the practice showing up in your life. This settling in period can last for a year, two years, or more.

Learning & Study

Take the Introduction to Zen Meditation Class if you haven't yet. Usually offered in the winter during Practice Period.

Read What is Zen? by Norman Fischer and Susan Moon if you haven't yet. We periodically offer a class with on this fine little book that explains our way of practice quite directly.

Another great persepective on Zen training is Robert Aitken's Taking the Path of Zen.

If you missed it this video from Zen Buddhism Ireland is a concise introduction too.

The Zen Studies Podcast with Domyo Burke, a reliable Zen Teacher from the Dharma Rain Zen Center (Shasta Abbey lineage), is a great source. Many different topics covered in a friendly, accessible manner.


Tried one of the Doanryo roles yet in the zendo? Reach out to the ino (zendo coordinator) at for training. You can sign yourself up right here on the website.

Try a one-day or multi-day sesshin (Zen Meditation retreat). If you haven't tried sesshin yet, starting with one of our One Day Sits is a great place to start.

Close to daily practice is very important and helpful. Our regular weekly schedule, especially weekday morning zazen via Zoom can be a great support for this.

Sangha Life

Spend some time and energy (introvert? you can do it!) getting to know other sangha members. We do Zen practice together as a community. Look for time before or after regular practice times to relax and socialize and set and intention to hang out. Yes, this is part of Zen practice too.

With a Teacher

Start meeting regularly with at least one of our Teachers and Practice Leaders. It's important to get beyond your own perspective on your life and practice. Dokusan and Practice Discussion is available during almost all of our regular zazen periods and can also be arranged by appointment.

You can also meet regularly for several months at a time with Practice Leader through our Mentorship program.

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