Abby Terris started Corvallis Zen Circle 25 years ago, and after much anticipation, she and her students will be moving to a fresh, new location. This Zen-flavored space, now known as Sangha Jewel Zen Center, is a converted ranch house located at 2935 NW Circle Blvd, and will serve as a meeting space for weekday meditation practice beginning this fall.
Over the past year and a half, Terris has been working with the city to get the former residence approved as a meeting place for Zen Buddhist practice. Final approvals have been made and renovations will begin soon.
Terris explained that Sangha is one of the three jewels in Buddhism. First is the Buddah, whom they do not worship but look to for guidance, second is the Dharma, or his teachings and all phenomena.
“The third jewel is the Sangha – the community of all beings. It’s what we all come from and are nourished by,” she explained.
The renovations include rearranging the space to accommodate the group’s needs.
“I kind of love how ordinary it is,” said Terris. Along with a meditation area, Sangha Jewel Zen Center will have a study, office, library room, and kitchen. The building is already equipped with solar panels, much to Terris’ delight.Currently, Sunday meditation is held at The Yoga Center of Corvallis, where it will remain until the group is able to raise the funds to remove an existing garage on the property, and build a Zendo large enough for the entire group.
Plans for the outside of the property include a system of paths for walking meditation and a small garden that offers what Terris has described as “a real sense of refuge.” The outside garden is also where memorial services will be held.
If you are interested in learning more about Zen Buddhism, they offer an orientation practice on the first Sunday of the month at 9 a.m. in The Yoga Center of Corvallis. They also offer meditation, classes, one-day retreats, and four-day retreats to help guide you on your spiritual journey.
In case you need a little extra encouragement, Terris reminds us that, “This is a community group and all are welcome.”
You can find more information on their website at corvalliszencircle.com.
By Ashley Rammelsberg