Dharma Rain - Eligibility for Dharma School
Gyokuko Carlson founded and oversees this
program. She is the director and co-abbot of Dharma Rain Zen Center and has
been teaching Zen for over 20 years. Class teachers are active members of
the Dharma Rain Sangha who bring their personal experience of practice and
appreciation of children’s development to their lessons and classes.
When new teachers join the school, they serve a short apprenticeship under
a more experienced staff person, and then work as assistants, usually for
at least one school year. Gyokuko, co-abbot at Dharma
Rain, recruits and screens new
teachers from Dharma Rain’s
senior members. On average, Dharma School teachers have done about ten years
of Zen practice.
Although Dharma School is a program of Dharma Rain Zen Center, and the
teachers are all involved in Zen practice, we strive for a non-sectarian
atmosphere and curriculum, as children from numerous other Buddhist traditions
regularly attend. Parents are an important part of the program, but act in
supportive roles rather than through direct contact with children. This provides
alternative role models for the children, and fosters parental involvement
with the adult sangha.
We have been running this program since the mid-1980s. Our best measure
of success is the school’s continuing growth and the number of children
and young people who keep returning and asking for more. For
more information about Dharma School see the manual, Sharing the Dharma with Children.
You can also find out more by contacting the