What is Appamada?

Appamada is a Pali word that means mindful, active care. According to the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha, it was a common theme in his teaching and the last word that he used, encouraging his followers to fare forward with appamada—with energetic care. He often compared appamada to an elephant’s footprint, which is so large that it can contain the footprint of all the other animals. In the same way, the Buddha said, appamada—mindful, clear care—contains the heart of all of his teachings.

We have adopted this name for our community of practice and inquiry because it reflects not only our aspiration as teachers, but our sense of the community as a whole, and its contribution in the world. Our practice follows the tradition of the American Zen teacher Joko Beck. In our teaching we draw on the Zen teachings and tradition we were trained in, as well as other Buddhist teachings and contemporary work in psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, language, the sciences of complexity and ecosystems, the arts, and philosophy.