FAQs - Zen Center Leadership

What is the Three Jewels Order (3JO)?
The 3JO is a Buddhist order of priests and householders who, after extensive Zen practice, training, and study, have committed to making service to Buddha (awakening), Dharma (teachings), and Sangha (community) the focal point of their lives.  3JO members are acknowledged as clergy and can perform the functions normally associated with this vocation.  Currently there are twelve 3JO priests and householders serving as leaders, teachers, and spiritual models for the 450+ members of Rochester Zen Center and its subordinate groups.  

What is that bib-like thing that some people wear?
The rakusu is a traditional Zen Buddhist vestment dating back to the ninth century.  In our Zen lineage, those who have met certain criteria, which includes Jukai (taking the precepts ceremony), may receive a brown one.  Senior students who join the Three Jewels Order receive a black one.  Other colors indicate the person is a sanctioned teacher or is practicing in a different Zen lineage.

Who makes the decisions at the Center?
The Group Leader is responsible for spiritual affairs (Zen practice and training activities) and is assisted in this by zendo monitors and others in the sangha. Our Group Leader is a member of the Center’s Board of Directors.  Our Board is responsible for financial matters and other secular affairs.  The Board of Directors establishes administrative policy, makes long-term planning decisions, and ensures LZC is administered legally and in a fiscally-responsible manner.

Louisville Zen Center operates as much as possible on the Buddhist virtue of dana (or giving).  The organization is run entirely by volunteers. Our Group Leader, zendo monitors, Board of Directors, and other workers and advisors are freely giving their services to Louisville Zen Center.