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Upaya Zen Center is a Zen Buddhist practice, service, and training center. Our vision focuses on the integration of practice and social action, bringing together wisdom and compassion. Our mission is to provide a context for community practice, education in Buddhism and social service in the areas of death and dying, prison work, the environment, women’s rights, and peacework. It endeavors to fulfill the vision of the Five Buddha Family Mandala, by understanding the integration of all of its functions.
Roshi Joan Halifax learned a version a version of Council from Quakers during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. As the founder of the Ojai Foundation in 1979, she brought teachers and students together in circles throughout her years there. Now, at the Upaya Zen Center, where she is Founder and Abbot, Council practice is a core element of Upaya, serving as a way to strengthen community, service, and the heart and mind.