Samu | Sangha Jobs

Aitken roshi says that Samu, or work practice, is the extension of meditation to its function. As Joan Halifax points out, we can struggle with Samu because we bring all of our cultural baggage associated with work to Samu. Will I get credit for it? Will it help me get ahead? How quickly or well can I do it? Simply being present to the task at hand, accomplishing it without being busy, is a really wonderful aspect of Zen practice. And, at base, as Aitken roshi says, "Samu is a manifestation of Dana, profound genersoity." So we encourage you to say yes, volunteer, work slowly and carefully. All jobs should be performed with the same qualities of appreciation and reverence we find in our sitting practice. Samu is another way for us to enjoy our fragile impermanent zendo.

Joan Halifax gave an excellent talk on work practice that you can listen to here.

If you have any questions about how to perform a job, or if you would like to volunteer, please email


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