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Frequently Asked Questions

What is meditation?

Meditation is a self-empowering exercise that trains the mind to be moved or remain on an object of meditation. In daily life, this means the power to steer the mind away from suffering and towards happiness and peace.

What are some benefits of meditation for beginners?

Although meditation offers many benefits, the ones most frequently highlighted are focus, relaxation, self-confidence, inner peace, inspiration, stress reduction, mental clarity, and improved attention span. Learn and practice meditation with Soshimsa Zen Center in our free Monday Meditation classes. It's one of the best ways to reduce stress naturally!

What are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

The Four Noble Truths were the first teaching given by the Buddha after enlightenment.


Four Noble Truths

1. The noble truth of suffering

2. The noble truth of the cause of suffering

3. The noble truth of the cessation of suffering

4. The path leading to the cessation of suffering

What is the Eightfold Path of Buddhism?

The fourth of the Four Noble Truths is the Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

 The Eightfold Path is the guide to traveling that path.

1. Right View

2. Right Thought

3. Right Speech

4. Right Action

5. Right Livelihood

6. Right Effort

7. Right Mindfulness

8. Right Concentration

What are the Six Perfections?

The Six Perfections are a further expansion of the Eightfold Path. At Soshimsa Zen Center these are the main governing principles. The Six Perfections are:

1. Generosity
2. Precepts
3. Patience
4. Perseverance
5. Meditation
6. Wisdom

When should I meditate?

The simple answer is “whenever you have the time to”. However,  some good times may be; (1)To start your day on a good note, (2) To break up a hectic day, or (3) To decompress at the end of your day. What is important is to establish consistency is your practice. Join us for meditation practice on Mondays at Soshimsa Zen Center.

How long should I meditate for?

When first beginning a meditation practice, it helps to remember not to associate your meditation practice with a chore. Start off sitting for however long you are comfortable sitting for. To learn how to meditate, many find our free Monday Meditation Classes especially helpful.

What are the Three Jewels in Buddhism?

Buddha- Buddha the teacher.


Dharma-  The teachings: The Buddha looked deeply into the reality and gained a profound understanding of the Dharma (the way things are, thusness, the governing natural laws)


Sangha- The community of practitioners: The Buddha underwent great personal suffering from the experimentation he undertook during his study and developed an organized system through which others can also experience enlightenment without undergoing the same suffering as he did, and the Sangha is helpful in that endeavor.

Why is Buddhism called the Middle Path?

Because its aim is a life of balance.

Do I need to understand Korean to participate in the Sunday Prayer Service?

No, you do not need to understand Korean. Although the chanting is done in traditional Korean style, all the chanting is transliterated into English. The profound meanings of the chants are studied during our classes/courses, and are often the subject of the Sunday Service Bop-Mun (Dharma Talk, or sermon).

Are programs at Soshimsa Zen Center taught in English?

Yes, all of the teachings are delivered in English in a clear and coherent fashion.

 Do I have to be a Buddhist to participate in the programs offered at Soshimsa Zen Center?

No. Suffering comes to all. We all experience stress, anxiety, loneliness, and the whole spectrum of human experience. Our doors are open to all. The programs focused on health and wellness (Healing Arts, 5 Elements Wellness, Age Like a Sage CALM Kids., CALM Corporate, and Meditation) are non-religious. The Sunday Service is a traditional Buddhist prayer service. Any and all of our programs are open to all people regardless of their religion, sex, gender, or age. See our calendar here.

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