Thank you for considering membership with our community. 

Membership is an important step to take when you recognize that you have benefited from ZCO, and want to see the community continue to benefit others. When you become a member of ZCO you align yourself with our vision to express Zen Buddhism and make it accessible. This alignment directs the flow of your life energy into our community, shaping, broadening and supporting our offerings.

Become a ZCO member

To become a member on-line - create an account on this site and then go to the Pay Dues page. (for more information about dues see below)


Download a printable PDF membership form


Already a member - Pay membership dues online


Benefits for Members

  • Discounted fees for events.
  • May attend sesshin part-time.
  • Sanzen (private interviews) with the teachers.
  • Voting rights at the annual Sangha meeting after one year of membership.
  • Eligibility to serve as a board member after three years of membership.

Dues Payments

  • Members make dues payments of at least $35 per month.
  • Dues payments are used to cover monthly expenses, such as printing our newsletter Ink on the Cat, stipends for our teachers, and other organizational expenses.
  • For members living too far away to frequently participate in the offerings at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple or Great Vow Zen Monastery we recommend $20 in monthly dues.
  • Dues in arrears of 4 months will be considered a request to drop membership.

Some Common Questions:

If I declare membership, am I a Buddhist?

  • No. People become Buddhists when they take Jukai, during which one vows to live a life in accord with the Buddhist precepts before the whole sangha (community).

If I can't afford $35 per-month, can I still be a member?

  • Yes. We believe that lack of funds should never stand in the way of joining this community. If you can't afford $35 per month, please pay what you can afford. You might consider declaring one hour of work each week to the Dharma. For example, if you are paid $6.00 per hour, you might pay dues of $24.00 per month, if you are paid $10.00 per hour, you might pay dues of $40.00 per month.

How can I meet with Chozen or Hogen?

  • The most powerful way to meet with a teacher is in sanzen (private interview). Sanzen is available at 10:00am on most Sundays at Great Vow Zen Monastery, at 7:30pm on most Sundays at Heart of Wisdom, and during sesshin (meditation retreats). Active members can also meet informally with the teachers at GVZM Tuesdays through Saturdays, teachers' time permitting. To arrange an informal meeting at the monastery, please call (503) 728-0654.

If you have further questions about membership after reading this page please email Doug Onkatsu.