Seon Lotus

Seon Lotus Circle


For upcoming class dates see our Calendar.
Please note: Prerequisites include completion of the Five Buddhist Precepts and the Bodhisattva Program.

People have been deluded for so long. They do not recognize that their own minds are the true Buddhas. They do not recognize that their own natures are the true dharma. They want to search for the Buddha, yet they will not observe their own should know that outside this mind there is no Buddhahood which can be attained. All the Buddhas of the past were merely persons who understood their minds. All the sages and saints of the present are likewise merely persons who have cultivated their minds...The nature of the mind is unstained; it is originally whole and complete in itself....Nevertheless, at that point where all dharmas are empty, the numinous awareness is not obscured. This is your pure mind-essence of void and calm, numinous awareness. One who awakens to it and safeguards that awakening will then abide in the unitary, “such” and unmoving liberation...there is neither more of it in the saint nor less of it in the ordinary person....The only thing that makes them different is that they can protect their minds and thoughtsnothing more.”
Chinul, Secrets On Cultivating the Mind

Taking the path of Seon is to become taesim chungsaeng, an ordinary person of great aspiration. Having begun to nourish the seeds of the great aspiration for awakening with Bodhisattva precepts, the Seon circle member deliberately sets aside worldly interest to root this aspiration deeply and cultivate it. The spirit of Seon is to play the host, not the guest. We manifest the mind of “no problem” and “no obstacle” always at the ready to help as any situation requires. As our Western ancestor Epicurus reminds us, “live unnoticed”, so through sincere practice and the cultivation of humility we bring our practice and character to a single maturity to become profoundly ordinary.

Seon Lotus Circle practitioners build on their Bodhisattva foundation and increase their commitment to realization of the Buddhadharma within ordinary every day life. As a modern adaptation of the Korean monastic division between the vocation of meditation monks and seminary students training to be teachers, this program only relies on written materials which are immediately relevant to understanding the method of practice, and to the inspiration and edification of each individuals Seon practice. It does not aim to provide comprehensive overviews and understanding of the development of the Buddhist tradition, but rather seeks to ground the student in the tradition and style of Seon Buddhist practice. In this respect, this program demands more discipline and time to be spent on the cultivation of humility through prostrations, the cultivation of meditation through hwadu study, and the cultivation of purity of heart-mind through chanting. This is none other than the putting to rest of the undisciplined accumulation of habit (karma) of body, mind, and speech. We call this taking the backwards look to illuminating mind and returning to Buddha.

The Seon practitioner takes an additional three vows of simplicity, clarity, and unity to guide their Seon life:

  • Simplicity is to put down the extraneous and cultivate the necessary (faith mind).

  • Clarity is to see the nature of mind and person with direct honesty (path of vision).

  • Unity is to bring word and thought into conformity with action (straightforward mind).

Daily Morning Practice (at least five days per week):

1) Prostrations (36-108 prostrations)
2) Thirty-50 minutes meditation (hwadu study)
3) Yebul

Informal Practice:

1) Kido (chanting), Great Compassion Dharani, and/or hwadu.

Daily Evening Practice (at least five days per week):

1) Great Compassion Dharani, three times.
2) Fifteen-30 minutes of meditation.
3) Journaling


1) Attend Sunday services.
2) Attend monthly Dharma Student meetings.
3) Participate in volunteer opportunities (through temple or other organizations).
4) Attend Lojong and/or Uposatha.
5) Attend meditation retreats.


For Individuals: $240 per 32 week practice period which can be made in full at the beginning of practice period or in installments by the end of the 32 weeks. (For married couples: $300) Tuition covers participation in all temple activities and classes with exception to retreats. Program participants will be able to attend retreats for reduced rates. If tuition is a barrier to participation, please speak with a GRBT teacher. No one is turned away from any of our activities for financial reasons.

Suggested Donation Options:

  • Place your cash or check donation in the dana (donation) boxes at each entrance of the temple.
    Label the envelopes provided with your name if you want a record for year-end taxes.

  • Or mail your donation by check, with the class title on the memo line. Make your check payable and mail to:
    Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple
    451 Division Ave South
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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