A useful definition of Zen is the practice of being present, of experiencing fully.
The Zen Community of Baltimore/Clare Sangha offers opportunities for people to learn
about and practice Zen. Offerings include days of silence, seasonal retreats, "Zen
108" and other training including orientation workshops and Zen precept study.
To encourage practice, ZCB holds a bead ceremony honoring those who do zazen an hour or more for 108 consecutive days. The aim of "Zen 108" is to help members establish a strong home practice; and develop the settling power of concentrated mind (joriki). The encouraging experience of joriki connects with a principal benefit of Zen, the centering of one's being.
Learning to center one's being in the present moment leads onward to the other main benefits of a Zen life. These include awakening to the Way of wisdom and compassion (forgetting the self), then embodying the Way in one's daily life -- a progressive and life-long undertaking. The ZCB intention is to help students have their own direct experience of these benefits.