Membership is not required for practicing at Great River Zendo. There is no charge for practice per se, although donations will always be welcomed with gratitude. Memberships are offered as a means for sangha members and supporters to help sustain GRZ financially in a regular and predictable way. The only exceptions to this open gate policy are special study classes, zazenkais, and sesshins, for which modest fees are charged to cover expenses.
Great River Zendo is incorporated in the State of Maine as a nonprofit organization and is certified by the Federal IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable corporation. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.
There are no paid employees at GRZ, although distinguished visiting teachers are given small honoraria. All donations, including memberships, are used solely to meet the operating costs of Great River Zendo.
MembershipsFour levels are available:
- Members: $30.00 per month or $350.00 per year. Full members have voting rights at all Great River Zendo meetings open to the entire sangha.
- Visiting Members: $60.00 per year. This level enables those who come to the West Bath zendo only occasionally (less than six times a year), including sangha members who only participate in the Portland group, Sitting Zen, to contribute to GRZ regularly. Visiting Members do not have a vote in sangha meetings.
- Sustaining Members: $500.00 per year. This category offers those who have the means to support GRZ above the level of regular Membership dues a way to express their ongoing commitment to Great River and its mission. Sustaining members are full Members of the organization with voting privileges.
- Lifetime Members: Minimum $1000.00. Lifetime Members, or Benefactors, enjoy all of the privileges of full Members in perpetuity. Lifetime Membership is offered as a way for people to share the abundance of their lives in support of the propagation and transmission of Dharma.
For memberships, please download and print out the application form.