Members and Friends

The purpose of the Arcata Zen Group is to provide opportunities for the study and practice of
Soto Zen Buddhism. Zazen meditation, services, group readings and discussion, and
teacher-led retreats (sesshin) form the core of our practice. Our emphasis is to integrate
spiritual practice and daily life.

You are welcome to join us either as a Member or a Friend, but neither is required to participate in sangha activities.  If you find you are meditating and attending programs regularly, we encourage you to consider becoming a member.


There are many opportunities to support the sangha and deepen one's practice. Examples are attending weekday zazen and the Sunday Program, filling zendo roles, participating in sesshins, serving on committees, and participating in work practice. Members elect the Board of Directors, vote on major sangha issues, may borrow from our library and may be placed on our contact lists. After two or more years of membership, one may serve on the Board of Directors, Practice Committee, or Ways and Means Committee. Membership is renewed annually.

Members are stewards of the organization. There is no membership fee. With the intent of taking collective responsibility for the financial health of the organization, members are encouraged to make a pledge, payable monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Each member determines a pledge amount based on their individual financial circumstances. The generosity of those before you have made it possible for us to offer the teachings today, and your generosity will allow us to continue to offer these teachings into the future. We seek to be transparent about the costs of running the organization. Any donation you make will be deeply appreciated and used wisely.


Anyone can be a Friend of Arcata Zen Group by completing a Friend Form annually. This category is appropriate for those who are new or for whom distance or other circumstances preclude taking an active role in maintaining the functioning of the group. Becoming a Friend allows those interested to stay in regular contact with us by being placed on our mailing lists. Friends are welcome at all our activities and may become members at any time.