The American Zen Teachers Association (AZTA) brings together authorized Zen teachers for expanded peer contact and exchange. To ensure the integrity of the group we encourage applications from active teachers with backgrounds and activities that have long represented well rounded training in one lineage or another.

Those wishing to join AZTA are encouraged to review the areas of consideration listed below. If you feel that you satisfy the general requirements outlined below, we encourage you to contact the membership committee and request a detailed membership application. Completed applications will be evaluated by the membership committee, a standing committee created and empowered by a decision of the AZTA membership as a whole.

The areas of consideration are:

  1. Is the candidate authorized to teach Zen Buddhism without supervision within a generally recognized lineage?
  2. Does the candidate devote a significant portion of time to teaching Zen and have ongoing and regular responsibility for students?
  3. Has the candidate received Buddhist precepts, and does the candidate have an Ethics Statement which includes a grievance procedure? (The AZTA Ethics policy can be found here.)
  4. Before receiving authorization, did the candidate undergo significant Zen training (with a substantial part of the training being in-person)?

Questions on the membership application are designed to give a detailed picture of the ways in which a candidate meets these considerations.
When accepted for membership, all members agree to abide by the guidelines for right speech when communicating on the listserve, as described in Guidelines for AZTA Netiquette.