Oakland Zen Center

United States

The Oakland Zen Center also known as Kojinan is based on the model of family temples in Japan. Kojin-an means "Good People Hermitage", and this community is dedicated to bringing Zen wisdom in everyday life. Their aim is to understand how to create fulfilling lives, in harmony with others and mother nature. Oakland Zen Center is a lovely space to practice zazen meditation in the traditional Japanese arts of calligraphy, tea ceremony, and enjoying the company of like minded people.

Tradition & Practice
Kind of Place

Practice and Meditation

Through their practice, this community devotes itself to following the teaching and practice the Way of the Buddha. At Oakland Zen Center, Shikantaza which means “Just Sitting” is also practiced as it is the way zazen is practiced in Soto Zen. Shikantaza focuses on sitting with the right posture, breath and awareness of mind moment by moment. The Kojin An Sangha teach traditional Japanese brush calligraphy in a quiet and relaxed setting. The sitting group gather together for a brief formal service to recite the Great Heart Sutra and zendo cleaning. The session ends with informal tea and conversation.

  • Zazen Meditation
  • Shikantaza
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Calligraphy

The Place

Kojinan started in the Rockridge district of Oakland in August 1990. The center is a beautiful small Zen center based on the architecture of family temples in Japan. One year later, Kojin-an was formally incorporated as a non-profit Church until they raised funds to construct an eighteen-mat Zendo in the traditional Japanese Soto Zen monk’s training hall style. The administrative headquarters of Soto Zen in Japan formally recognized Kojin-an as an official Soto-shu temple in North America.

Lineage and

Soto Zen is one of the major practices of Zen Buddhism and emphasizes the practice of zazen, or sitting meditation. By learning how to be still, we are able to realize our original nature and carry that experience into daily life. The founder of Soto Zen is Dogen Zenji from Japan and the lineage of teachers trace back to the the 6th Century Chinese Chan/Zen founder Bodhidharma.

Furthermore, teachers of this lineage descend from the historic Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, in India over 2500 years ago.


oaklandzencenter.org+1 510 6531916
6140 Chabot Rd
CA 94618
United States

proudly written by

Simon Ester

Simon is the founder and designer of Relight. Born and raised in Germany Simon grew up with a passion for human potential and spirituality. Obsessed with the study of human nature, Simon is currently studying as a guest student at universities in San Francisco and Bonn (Germany). Integrating insights from his studies in psychology, philosophy, spirituality and anthropology into creating impactful organizations.

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Simon Ester

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