How we work within the community

Global Sangha


In the Global Sangha we practice with environmental and social concerns of our community. Staying close to the body and breath, we take on projects outside the zendo that reflect the interconnectedness of all things.

To participate in any of the Global Sangha activities described below, please contact Zen Center with your contact information.


Homeless garden project

Each Friday we provide a meal for the local homeless shelter and for the Homeless Garden Project. HGP is a long-standing job training program that also provides social service assistance and housing advocacy.

Community engagement

Each year we join other faith-based groups participating in local LGBTQIA+ parades and our county’s Martin Luther King celebration. We also participate in the annual Japanese Cultural Fair and Out In Our Faith. We have sponsored workshops on homelessness and have responded to community requests for ceremonies in remembrance of nuclear attacks and community tragedies.


Food Not bombs

Participants from Santa Cruz Zen Center volunteer monthly to prepare a meal for homeless people in our community. We do this in partnership with the grassroots organization, Food Not Bombs. This international food aid program provides fresh vegetables and nutritious meals to those in need.


Ordinary Recovery

We offer a weekly, peer-led, confidential support group exploring use of substances, interpersonal relationships, and emotions. The format of each group includes meditation and group discussion.