We welcome all who want to learn more about Zen Buddhist meditation. Our vibrant community is committed to Zen practice and teachings, and offers daily sitting meditation, weekly classes and lectures, and monthly intensive meditation retreats.

Our Center is located on the eastern shore of Lake Calhoun in south Minneapolis. People from all over the region come to here to listen to talks by teachers, attend classes and workshops, participate in retreats, attend services, and, most importantly, to do sitting meditation (zazen).

Are you new to Meditation, Zen Buddhism, or the Center?

A good place to begin would be Introduction to Zen Meditation on Sunday mornings, or the Tuesday Night Gathering. Each session includes meditation instruction and teaching on how meditation and Zen relate to daily life.

For Introduction to Zen Meditation join us any Sunday and then return the next three Sundays to complete the four-week cycle. (For those months that have a fifth Sunday, a fifth talk is offered. It is considered an "optional" part of the cycle.) The four parts are not sequential, so you may attend them in any order. You are welcome to attend as many sessions as you like, but attend all four for the best overview. These classes are open to all with no pre-registration necessary. Admission is first come, first served, and the class often fills. We advise that you come a few minutes early. Those who can't attend the Introduction generally stay and enjoy the Sunday talk instead. Donations are gratefully accepted.

The class meets every Sunday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Participants are welcome to stay for tea and social hour at 11:00.

Tuesday Night Gathering is a weekly opportunity to come together for meditation and Zen teaching. Newcomers and experienced practitioners alike are invited and encouraged to participate. This gathering is designed to provide a regular weekly cornerstone for your practice. Each session includes guided meditation, a brief dharma talk, silent meditation, and an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Tuesday Night Gatherings take place every Tuesday 7:15 – 8:30 p.m.

If you are visiting MZMC to fulfill a class requirement, we suggest attending our Sunday morning lecture at 10 a.m. You may also contact our office to set up a visit.

Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings are a good time to become familiar with the MZMC community.

Sunday Morning Schedule

The Sunday talks provide continued learning about Zen Buddhism and offer you a chance to know the teachers more fully. You are invited to join us for any part of the morning schedule. We hope to see you then!

9:10 Sitting Meditation
9:50 Break
10:00 Introduction to Zen Meditation (held on the third floor)
10:00 Sunday Talk Click here for a list of Sunday Speakers
11:00 Tea/Social Hour (except during retreats)

Click here to listen to Sunday Talks online

Subscribe to our Sunday Talks podcast using iTunes.

To subscribe to our Sunday Talks podcast with another service, use this rss feed:http://mnzencenter.org/audio/rss.xml

April Events

April Retreat
with Ted O'Toole
Friday April 11 at 7 p.m. through Wednesday April 16 at 4 p.m.
Cost for full retreat: $225 members; $300 non-members
Cost for two-day option (April 12 – 13): $90 members; $120 nonmembers
Cost for one-day option (April 12): $45 members; $60 nonmembers
Hours for full days: 5:45 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
All participants should plan to attend the orientation on Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m.
Registration is closed.

This five-day retreat is contemporary in style while maintaining a deep immersion in meditation and silence. The retreat includes sitting and walking meditation, daily dharma talks, work practice, one-to-one meetings with the teachers, and buffet-style vegetarian meals.Our regular schedule is suspended during this time.

Council Process
Sunday, April 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

MZMC is offering an opportunity to build community and practice Right Speech with a practice called Council. The origins of the Council Process are attributed to the Iroquois Confederation in the North Eastern, United States although other versions of it have probably been around a long time. It is used at Zen centers for everything from sharing practice verbally at a deep level to decision making to processing change. Council is a way of being in community in which mindful speech and deep listening are consciously practiced within the council form. The basic form is a circle. The circle may have facilitators, but they are also participants, not "leaders." All members have an equal voice and are accorded equal respect. Honoring the three treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha while having the opportunity to express ourselves with each other are embraced within this form.

The three tenets and four intentions of Council are:
Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, Appropriate Action

  • When speaking, speak from the heart,
  • When listening, listen from the heart,
  • Be of lean expression, and,
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the group

The circles will be co-facilitated by Ted O'Toole and Susan Nelson, each of whom have had training in the process.

Spring Morning Study Group: Dogen's Instructions for the Cook: Living Dogen's Way
with Ben Connelly
Every other Tuesday morning, April 22 through July 1
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Cost: $75 members; $90 nonmembers

Widely regarded as one of Dogen's greatest works, Instructions for the Cook explores the way to practice enlightenment in simple day to day activities. Although ostensibly its subject matter is cooking in a Zen monastery, this essay lays forth a way to joyfully and generously engage in the simplest aspects of life with our whole hearts and minds. Cooking for the community has long been a deep and valued part of Zen practice, and Dogen found the monastic cooks of Song China to be among the most inspiring teachers he encountered in his many travels. Here he recounts their teachings with a profound appreciation, and gives us the chance to meet them ourselves. The advanced study group is open to those who have been in a previous study group at MZMC or with the teacher's permission.

Our mission is to help people experience a deep and quiet joy – a joy that arises whenever we are fully engaged in the work or play of this moment.