Book of Common Practice
Welcome to our Book of Common Practice, a digital companion for members and candidates of the Vowed Way at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community. This resource connects our practices together, uniting our disseminated sangha across geographical boundaries, various time zones, life stages, and personal life events.
Imagine this book as a golden thread weaving through the fabric of our daily lives. It’s more than just a guide; it’s the embodiment of our shared life of vow—a narrative of our collective spiritual path. The framework of the Book mirrors the essence of our Three Vows: 1) cultivating a meditative life with roots in zazen, 2) actively engaging with practices of awakening, and 3) dedicating ourselves to serving others. To enrich our common life, the book offers exercises for a deeper individual and shared commitment of these principles.
I’ve also adapted the traditional Zen “Book of Days” to fit our unique context. Within these pages, you’re invited to exchange personal musings, poetry, queries, and epiphanies. It is my heartfelt wish that this book captures daily contributions from our community, fostering a sense of collective wisdom and spiritual connection.
Each contemplative exercise here extends beyond zazen. While I wholeheartedly advocate for a daily routine of “just sitting,” the reflective practices within this book prompt us to ponder common themes, sparking meaningful exchanges that strengthen our bonds as companions on this awakening path.