One way to deepen your spiritual practice is by becoming a formal member of Greater Boston Zen Center (GBZC).  If you regard GBZC–Cambridge or one of its affiliate practice centers as your spiritual home, your membership is a way of placing a value on its importance in your life.  You can complete an online Membership Application Form here or you can download a form to complete and submit here.  

Why Be a Member?

  • Cultivate a Practice of Generosity.  Giving is an important way to express gratitude.  Our unique and irreplaceable presence contributes to the community, and the community holds dear and supports our own spiritual growth.
  • Develop a Sense of Ownership.  Cast your vote at annual meetings, and on other communal decisions.
  • Support the Very Real Financial Costs.  Help maintain an engaged Zen Center in Cambridge and six other affiliate practice centers around New England.

What Your Membership Supports

  • A vibrant Central Square location in Cambridge
  • Affiliate practice centers in Providence, RI; Middletown, CT; Worcester, MA; Natick, MA; and North Weymouth, MA
  • Multiple sesshins throughout the year, including financial aid for those unable to pay the full cost
  • Diverse programming in Zen study, as well as racial, social, gender and environmental justice
  • Training of teachers and students in our lineage tradition

What Are Others Saying About Membership?

When asked what GBZC means in their lives, here are what some of our members had to say:

“GBZC offers a generous spirit of tolerance for inevitable error.”

“Here I learned that an opening of the heart is not always neat and convenient . . . The heart opens via breaks and bursts . . .I’m so grateful to just sit somewhere with this understanding, and to know that every other beating heart in the zendo is opening too.”

“GBZC wants the world to come into the zendo, and for us to go out into the world.  I appreciate that permeability in the formation of the Persons of Color and the LGBTQIA+ sitting groups, and the anti-racist work done in the Turning Toward circles . . . “

(See what other members have said here.)

Becoming a Member

You can become a member by filling out the membership application form here or downloading a form here and making a monthly pledge of financial support.  The amount of your monthly pledge is up to you. GBZC values the intention behind your gift and is grateful for your pledge in any amount.

If you would like a guideline, GBZC relies on an average of $50/month from each member in order to meet its current operating expenses. Recognizing that this is more than many members can afford, if you have the capacity to make a larger pledge, we encourage you to be as generous as possible. Your monthly gift of $75, $100, or $150 can make it possible for GBZC to continue to serve everyone, without regard to financial circumstances.

Membership is renewed annually in February.

Once your application is approved by the board, and your first payment is received, we will send you a letter confirming your membership.

Making your Donation or Pledge

There are many ways to fulfill your membership pledge:

  • Monthly recurring payment through PayPal (Preferred). You can do this easily on our Pledge Page by using the Monthly Membership Pledge option.
  • Single Annual Pledge Donation. You may go to the same Pledge Page and use the PayPal “DONATE” button. Make sure you indicate that your payment is for “dues” or "annual dues" in the "Note" space on the PayPal form.
  • Check by mail sent to:

552 Massachusetts Ave, #208
Cambridge, MA 02139

  • Pledge envelope in GBZC Dana Box (make sure it specifies “Dues”)
  • Automatic monthly bill pay from your bank
  • Single annual payment in any form
  • Gifts of Stock: Appreciated securities may be donated to GBZC. You pay no capital gains on the appreciated value, GBZC gets the entire value of the donated stock, and you may take a tax deduction for the full value of the donation. The GBZC Treasurer can give you more information about this ([email protected]).
  • Qualified Charitable Deduction From a Retirement Account: If you are 701/2 or older, you may donate up to $100,000 from your IRA tax free, and GBZC receives the full untaxed amount. This is a great way to direct your tax dollars to something that you care deeply about.

If you have any questions, please contact the GBZC Treasurer at [email protected].