About Boundless Way Zen Northampton

Boundless Way Zen Northampton is a practice group of Boundless Way Zen.  We meet weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 PM.  The schedule for each evening practice period includes a brief chanting service and two 25 minute periods of sitting meditation (zazen) with a short period of walking meditation in between.  The first Tuesday of each month includes a Dharma talk (lecture and discussion) in place of the second period of meditation.  The third Tuesday of the month includes either a Dharma talk or dokusan (private interviews with a teacher).

Newcomers are most welcome to attend this ongoing Zen practice group. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know you are coming through our contact page and or simply arrive at 7:10 PM for a brief orientation and instructions.

We sit in the parlor of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence - 220 Main Street, Northampton, MA.  Enter the parlor through the side door near the back of the building and go up a half-flight of stairs to the left.

Northampton Practice Leaders

David Shunyo Caruso is Soto Zen priest and Boundless Way Zen Dharma Teacher and has been a student of Zen Buddhism since 1969.  He first trained in the San Francisco Zen Center tradition with Kobun Chino, Roshi, before becoming a member of Boundless Way Zen.  His primary teacher is Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi of the Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, MA.  David is a developmental psychologist and is retired from a career in higher education. He enjoys hiking, writing, and music and currently sings with a men's a cappella group called The Wise Guys.

Laura Washbun is a Boundless Way Zen Dharma Teacher and has been engaged in Zen practice for over 25 years.  Before becoming a member of Boundless Way Zen, she trained with independent Zen teacher Richard Clark.  For the past 15 years she has practiced under the guidance of Boundless Way Temple resident teachers Melissa Myozen Blacker and David Dae An Rynick.  Laura is a clinical social worker with a private practice in Hadley, Massachusetts.  She enjoys outdoor activities, classical music, and travel, and has a fascination for animal psychology.

Boundless way Zen Dharma Teachers

Dharma teachers share in the spiritual leadership of BoWZ as requested by the guiding teachers. Dharma teachers introduce BoWZ's forms and practices in classes and lectures. They may also informally speak with other members of the community about details of practice. They may also give Dharma talks.  A Dharma teacher may not give formal practice interviews (dokusan) or establish personal student-teacher relationships (shoken).

Prerequisities:  Are determined by the Guiding Teachers on a case by case basis. But, a Dharma teacher should have demonstrated maturity in practice, be familiar with BoWZ's forms, be able to lead by example and otherwise have communication skills. As a general rule a Dharma teacher should have been practicing Zen for at least five years, and must have an understanding of the history and forms of Zen Buddhism.

Boundless Way Zen Senior Dharma Teachers

Senior Dharma Teachers share in the spiritual leadership of the community as requested by the Guiding Teachers.  In addition to the responsibilities of a Dharma teacher, a Senior Dharma techer may be authorized to give practice interviews (dokusan).  A Senior Dharma Teacher may not establish personal student-teacher relationships (shoken). 

Prerequisities:  Are determined by the Guiding Teachers on a case-by-case bais. But, a Senior Dharma Teacher should have demonstrated maturity in practice, be familiar with BoWZ's forms, be able to lead by example and otherwise have communication skills. As a general rule a Senior Dharma Teaacher should have been practicing Zen for ten years, and must have an understanding of the history and forms of Zen Buddhism.