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Zen Precepts: Living an Ethical Life

One Sunday a Month, September 18th, 2022 – June 18th, 2023, 10:00am-3:00pm ET

An Online and In-Person Offering with Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison and Sensei Chodo Robert Campbell


One Sunday a month, Sept 2022 – June 2023 from 10:00am–3:00pm Eastern Time

Dates: Sept 18th, Oct 16th, Nov 13th, Dec 11th, Jan 22nd, Feb 12th, March 12th, April 23rd, May 21st, June 18th


What are the Zen Precepts, and how do we learn to embody these guiding principles for living an ethical and enlightened existence in daily life?


Living the Zen Precepts is wisdom in action – the natural expression of a compassionate and awakened heart. The Precepts are studied, practiced and received to support the fullest expression of our lives.


Drawing on these teachings, the Precepts serve as guidelines for our daily lives, developing skillful ways to navigate relationships and life itself. This course consists of in-depth study, experiential learning, reading assignments, writing exercises, and discussion.


In this ten-month journey, we will meet once a month for a morning of practice, an afternoon of study, and, of course, we welcome you to practice Zazen each day in the online zendo.


The coursework includes: 

  • Sharing insights with other students via Roundglass (a private online container for the duration of the course)
  • Monthly pre-recorded videos of each precept from both guiding teachers, Sensei Koshin and Sensei Chodo (Foundations students will be engaging in the same video content with the opportunity to revisit and deepen their understanding of each precept.)
  • Attendance at the Sunday morning sit and dharma talk the morning of each class day
  • Private breakout sessions to explore the Precepts in an intimate and confidential setting
  • Recommended reading, like “Wholehearted” by guiding teacher, Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison


This class is ideal for beginners and advanced students alike. Many students repeat this class to deepen their understanding as the Precepts take root and become more aware of them in their everyday lives.


This class will:

  • Provide a deep understanding of the Zen Precepts – the guidelines for what it means to live an ethical life
  • Strengthen your meditation practice
  • Provide deep connections with other students; the embodiment of Sangha
  • Invite you to pause and notice new ways of thinking
  • Remind you the Precepts are a continuous practice

“I consider the Precepts as elegant and wise guideposts which create subtle, expansive shifts within me and to awaken to my chosen thoughts and actions.” —2021 Precepts Student

Open to anyone, this course is part of our Certificate In Contemplative Care Level II and is also part of the track to becoming a Formal Zen Student. To learn more about becoming a Formal Zen Student, please click here. Please note, this course is NOT required for the Master’s in Pastoral Care and Counseling. 


Online and In Person: This hybrid model class allows students to attend the program remotely or in person. Please choose which option best suits your needs during registration. There are a limited number of in person spots available for fully vaccinated individuals. If you will be attending in person, you must complete this Vaccination Verification form. Students that choose the in person option are required to be on site for all sessions.


We understand that there are many reasons people may choose not to be vaccinated. For now, we can only invite vaccinated community members into the Center in order to ensure everyone’s safety and limit the spread of COVID-19. For others, we hope you continue to join us online!


Financial Support: New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care endeavors to make our programs accessible. If the cost of this program is prohibitive, please choose the scholarship tier that would make it possible for you to attend. Please note that there are a limited number of scholarship seats available. 



September 18
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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