"I'm here to support Buddhist practice," Minock said.
The Mansfield Zen Center is in the living room of Minock's
Lexington Avenue apartment -- until he can get a building
or bigger apartment. He started reaching out to other area
Buddhists in 1996 because he was lonely, and didn't have anyone
to practice with.
"I was raised Catholic and I decided a long time ago
that I wasn't happy with the faith I was brought up in,"
he said. "For years, I looked around and investigated
New Age and Native American religions. Zen is probably the
most down to earth form of religion, and I identified with
Minock, 57, said the main practice of Zen Buddhism -- a particular
brand of Buddhism-- is zazen, which is sitting meditation.
"When meditating, you are to observe and quiet the mind,"
he said. "If you get distracted while meditating, you
just keep going back to the present moment.
"Some people follow their breath, but when you quiet
your mind, you wake up to your inner Buddha. It's observing
your mind, not shutting it off completely."
"You experience things for yourself," he said.
"There's no belief in a higher deity or something you
In 2006, Minock took the Buddhist precepts in Chicago, Ill.
He took vows not to kill, lie or steal.
He was presented with a rakusu, a garment for a lay Buddhist,
that he wears to peace meetings or at meditation. Minock was
given a Dharma or Buddhist name: Way of the Dragon.
Minock said if he can get more members, he would like to
do community service involving a soup kitchen or feeding the
"I would also like to work with area churches,"
There are Buddhist temples and decent-sized Buddhist populations
in Cleveland and Columbus. However, there are minimal practitioners
in this area.
The benefits of being a Zen Buddhist, Minock said, are becoming
more mindful in general, being more compassionate, seeing
into things more deeply and improved health.