Zen originated in China during the Tang dynasty as Chan Buddhism. From China it spread, eventually making its way to Japan where it is known as Zen. Practitioners do not worship Buddha, but strive to seek insight into Buddha nature through meditation. In general, Buddha means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of not knowing the true nature of things. In Zen, a Buddha is not a god, he is simply a man who has awakened from his sleep. Therefore, the Zen practitioner does not have conflict with other religious practices. Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation and insight development. Zen has had a long influence in the development of martial arts in Japan and was often practiced by samurai. Meditation has many known benefits, including reducing stress, improving concentration, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. In our classes we explore a variety of meditative practices and do not subscribe to any particular school of Zen. Everyone is welcome to attend the meditation workshops and there is no cost to Verrado community members!