Blue Cliff Zen Sangha
Welcome to our website!
The Blue Cliff Zen Sangha
is a Zen Buddhist community
serving Long Beach and Orange County.
We are an affiliate sangha of
of Boundless Way Zen,
To learn more,
or to get on our email list,
write us at
Or, call us at 562.624.5870
Visit & Like us on Facebook
Brings together Many Streams
We meet every
Unitarian Universalist Church
of Long Beach
5450 E Atherton St.,
Long Beach CA 90815
If you want
a brief introduction to Zen practice
please arrive no later than 6:45pm.
Zafus & chairs are provided,
although feel free to bring your own zafu if you wish.
We begin promptly at 7:00pm,
although times following are approximate.
7:00pm We begin with a brief Zen Buddhist liturgy
7:15 Zazen (formal silent meditation in the Zen style)
7:40 Kinhin (formal walking meditation)
7:45 Zazen (on the Third Tuesday there is a Dharma talk instead of kinhin & the second sitting)
We conclude about 8:25 with the Four Vows
Our Teacher & Practice Leaders
Our Resident Priest & Teacher is the Reverend James Ishmael Ford. (Zeno Myoun Osho) James was ordained a Soto Zen Buddhist priest by and received Dharma transmission from Roshi Houn Jiyu Kennett in 1971. He also spent many years studying with the Harada Yasutani koan teacher Dr John Tarrant, and in 2005 received Inka Shomei from him together with the teaching title Roshi. James, as he prefers to be called, is a member of both the Soto Zen Buddhist Association in North America and the American Zen Teachers Association. He currently serves on the board of the SZBA. He also blogs as Monkey Mind, and is the author of several books on aspects of the Zen life. James is one of the four guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen.
Our Practice Leader is Jan Seymour-Ford. Jan has been a student of Zen for more than a quarter of a century. She has studied with several teachers, most notably Roshi John Tarrant and Roshi Melissa Myozen Blacker, currently Abbot of Boundless Way Zen. The Guiding Teachers Council have designated Jan as a Boundless Way Senior Dharma Teacher.
Our Assistant Practice Leader is Chris Hoff. Chris has been a student of Zen for many years, mostly within the lineage of the Korean master Seung Sahn. He is a student of Roshi James Myoun Ford.
Boundless Way Zen
The Blue Cliff Zen Sangha is an affiliated group of Boundless Way Zen and BoWZ's Guiding Teachers Council.
The Boundless Way is an emerging Western Zen Buddhist sangha with lineage roots in Japanese Soto and Korean Linji.
The mission of the Boundless Way is to cultivate Zen in the West through 1) establishing and supporting local sanghas, 2) training dharma teachers and practice leaders, & 3) providing sesshin and other intensive training opportunities.
The ideals of Boundless Way Zen are based on the example and teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha guided by the Bodhisattva precepts and the teachings of the schools of Zen Buddhism. Our central value is to develop the realization of non-duality and its compassionate actualization.
As members of the Boundless Way Zen sangha we bind ourselves consciously to a code of conduct in order to nurture and protect our community and our continuing practice. To ensure that ethical concerns can be addressed confidentially and addressed responsibly, we have published an actionable ethics code.
Here is a brief bibliography of thirty-three books on Buddhism and Zen. It is by no means comprehensive, but the list does reflect our approach at the Blue Cliff Zen Sangha.
Another good way to learn more about our approach to the Zen way is to look at our Liturgy.
Boundless Way Zen Liturgy
Our Unitarian Universalist Connections
Three of our Boundless Way's four founding teachers have been active Unitarian Universalists. One of the teachers, James Ishmael Ford, is also ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister, serving UU churches for twenty-five years. He is minister-emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of Providence. He is also affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach as a community minister, focused primarily on serving the Blue Cliff Zen Sangha, which the church generously is sponsoring.
The many connections between the emerging Western Buddhist communities and Unitarian Universalist congregations has become the subject of various studies. Here is just one focusing on Unitarian Universalism and Boundless Way.
Boundless Way Zen, arising with these ties to Unitarian Universalism has been committed to more involvement in leadership by-non teachers, and a great interest in the ways we bring our spiritual lives into the world when not at the Zen hall.
Our weekly meeting in Long Beach has been designated an activity of the adult education program of the Long Beach Unitarian Universalist Church.