About Our Sangha
While our spiritual heritage ultimately harkens back to the times of Gautama Buddha and Lao Tzu, the Clear Mountain sangha traces its immediate origins to the Metro Zen Community, which was formed in 1998. A group of individual gathered and met regularly
as to offer the Montclair, NJ vicinity the benefits of Zen sitting and teaching. The first year of zazen was held in the cellar of the home of founding member John Flynn (since deceased). Other founding members included
Carl Bachmann, Deb Baretz, and Ray Cicetti. Before long, the group gained a new home at the Montclair Co-Op School, which was otherwise unoccupied on Sunday mornings. Several members of the group were also involved with the already established Morning Star Zendo in
Jersey City, and were taking instruction from its resident teacher, Rev. Robert Kennedy SJ, who had himself studied Zen under noted teachers Yamada Roshi in Japan, Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles and Bernard Glassman Roshi in New York.
Clear Mountain is a member of the White Plum Asanga lineage. White Plum is a Zen school that was formed in the late 1970s from the inspiration of the late Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi, a master from Japan who founded the Zen Center of Los Angeles in the 1960s.
Maezumi Roshi was a successor in three different lineages of the Soto as well as the Rinzai school, thus expressing the teaching of the Buddha and the traditions of Zen in a wide, far-ranging fashion.
The White Plum concept was fostered and made concrete by Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, Roshi, who became the Asanga's first President.
While pursing our local identity and celebrating the uniqueness of the Montclair area community, Clear Mountain sangha members also cooperate with and support the activities of other local Zen sanghas. These include: Morning Star Zendo, Jersey City; Empty Bowl Zendo, Morristown, NJ; the Heart Circle Sangha in Ridgewood, NJ; and the Moon Water Sangha of the Empty Hand Zen Center, which presently meets in the evening for zazen at our Zendo location as well as in Basking Ridge, NJ.
Next Page: Our Teachers
Clear Mountain Zen Center
7 Oak Place
Montclair, NJ 07042