Disciple Program, San Jose
The Disciple Program is designed to lead students to reveal the nature of self (or enlightenment) as well as to prepare the Center’s future Zen masters.
Students who have been learning and practicing Zen meditation in the Center for more than six months are qualified to apply for the disciple program, although some exceptions may apply. Once your application is received, you become a novice (disciple-to-be) and are allowed to join the Disciple Program. When you pass the disciple assessment after a 3-to-6 month training, you will be accepted and given a Discipleship Ceremony to become a disciple. (Check the Discipleship Kit for the details.)
As a disciple, you will be given more intensive training and straightforward teaching in order to advance your Zen level efficiently. The scope of your Zen training will not be limited to the on-cushion sitting meditation but also expand to the off-cushion working meditation. You will be required to take the Club None Class, where you will be trained to participate in the Center’s day-to-day operations, conduct assigned jobs (which you probably have no experience with at all), organize and/or host events for the Center, share your Zen experience with your fellow practitioners and the public, collaborate with your fellow practitioners, work with your Shifus (Zen Masters) of the Center, etc. You will also develop a personal shifu-disciple relationship with your Shifu(s).
All these on-cushion and off-cushion disciple trainings are not only for the deed of your enlightenment, but also serve the purpose of training the Center’s future Zen masters in order to lead more people to enlightenment. Therefore, all disciples are also required to register for the Instructor Training and Certification Program. When pass the exam, you will be given the Instructor/Assistant Certificate and have the opportunity to lead/assist Beginner’s Class and/or Bridging Class in the Center.