english        español            

The Zenlife Center is a small, intimate training center where seriously dedicated men and women may practice Zen meditation (zazen), hear Zen commentaries (teishos), and take part in ceremonies and intensive retreats.

The Zenlife Center

Training programs for those new to Zen Buddhism, as well as, for experienced practitioners, are scheduled regularly. These include among others, weekly sitting, monthly One Day sittings, weekend intensive retreats (sesshin) and chanting, as well as ceremonies and workshops. Under the direction of Ven. Kshantin Curtiss, Sensei, a Zen Buddhist priest, the center makes authentic Zen training available to South Florida.


If you are sincerely concerned with "the great question of birth and death", have a genuine aspiration to come to an awakening (Kensho), are willing to exert yourself in your practice including sesshin attendance, are willing to take on the moral challenge of the Precepts, and feel a genuine rapport with Kshantin Sensei; then The Zenlife Center can become a means for natural liberation for you. Please contact us today! 

Zenlife Center
c/o Ven. Kshantin Curtiss, Sensei
Hollywood, Florida
954 920-3691

What is Zen Buddhism?

Zen Buddhism can be described as a religion of personal experience based on the "spirit" of the Buddha's Supreme Enlightenment; therefore no dogmas or creeds. The highest aim of Zen is Awakening, seeing into one's Essential-nature. The Essential-nature is the birthright of everyone. But like the moon, whose brightness is obscured by clouds, our True nature does not shine brightly within us because our mind is encrusted with delusion; thus training and practice are indispensable. Contrary to what some believe, Zen practice is not asceticism. Rather, it is a process of self-clensing, of ridding oneself of mistaken views and notions of how things "should" be, of living wholly "in" the moment rather than "for" the moment. Such mind purification culminates in the crowning achievement of Awakening. True Awakening confers self-empowerement to the highest degree. In Zen, the problem is not "What is God?" but "Who am I?" not the individual ego-I we so desperately cling to but the all-embracing cosmic I.. A by-product of Zen training is the development of mindfulness and spontaneity. And with this awakening, the ability to live a moral life. Not in a desperate strained way, but naturally and spontaneously. Zenlife is compassion for all living beings!

The Teacher

(Click here for Sensei Kshantin Joern Curtiss)

Ven. Kshantin Curtiss, Sensei, director of Zenlife, spent 35 years of intensive spiritual training (twenty of those in Zen) before being ordained by Roshi Philip Kapleau in 1994 and given permission by him to teach. Kshantin Sensei is a disciple of Roshi Kapleau and was his attendant and personal secretary for over six years. Kshantin Sensei has visited numerous spiritual centers around the US and trained with many teachers of different sects of Buddhism. This, combined with over fifteen years of chaplaincy at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida has given Kshantin Sensei a unique perspective as to what constitutes authentic Zen training.

It is important to remember that a teacher is merely a "midwife" and that the practice of Zen is an individual endeavor. And in this sense there really are no "Teachers of Zen".

Listen to the following: Once at the the assembly of all his followers the great Zen Master Ummon said. "You are all swallower's of dregs. Don't you know that in all the land of Tang (China) there are no teachers of Zen?". One of his monks took him to task saying, "How can you say that? There are thousands of monasteries and monks. And even in your assembly there are hundreds of your followers, and do you not give them instruction?" Ummon answered. "I didn't say that there was no Zen, just that there are no teachers of Zen!". This is another way of saying that it is through your effort, your commitment, your dedication, your aspiration, your discipline, and finally, your faith that true awakening will surely come. A Zen teacher then, doesn't beat a drum seeking students to teach, he merely invites others to join him in doing what he seriously does for himself.

Without experiencing a bitter winter, where the cold bites down to your very bones.
How can you be regaled by the fragrant blossoms of Spring??

The Teachings

The teachings at the Zenlife Center not only incorporate the practices of the Soto and Rinzai Zen traditions, but they also reflect what Kshantin Sensei has learned from his 35 years of spiritual training. Among other things, these include breath practices for concentrating the mind, "just sitting" (shikantaza), and/or the investigation of a koan (a spiritual problem stated in baffling language), and how to integrate the teachings of Zen into daily life. Most chanting is done in English. The foundation of Zen practice is sitting meditation (zazen), and various Zen masters, going back to the Buddha himself, have devised various methods which involve immobile and mobile one-pointed concentration. Body practice, either Tai-chi or yoga is also stressed.