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 Tuesday evenings. 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 morning or Tuesday night and then return the next three Sundays/Tuesdays to complete the four-week 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 talk in the main hall instead. Donations are gratefully accepted.

The class meets every Sunday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and each Tuesday 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Participants are welcome to stay for tea and social hour after the class.

If you are visiting MZMC to fulfill a class requirement, we suggest attending the talk in the main hall on Sunday at 10 a.m. or Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday Mornings and Tuesday Evenings

Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings are good times to become familiar with the MZMC community. The weekly talk (same talk is given Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.) provides continued learning about Zen Buddhism and offers you a chance to know the teachers more fully. You are invited to join us for any part of the Sunday and Tuesday schedules. We hope to see you then!

Sunday Morning Schedule
9:10 Meditation
9:30 Short Stretch Break
9:50 Meditation Ends
10:00 Introduction to Zen Meditation
10:00 Sunday Talk Click here for a list of Sunday/Tuesday Speakers
11:00 Tea/Social Time (except during retreats)

Tuesday Evening Schedule
6:40 Meditation
7:00 Short Stretch Break
7:20 Meditation Ends
7:30-8:15 Tuesday Talk Click here for a list of Sunday/Tuesday Speakers
7:30-8:30 Introduction to Zen Meditation
8:15-9:00 Tea/Social Time (except during retreats)

Click here to listen to Sunday/Tuesday Talks online

Subscribe to our Sunday/Tuesday Talks podcast using iTunes.

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

September Classes, Retreats and Other Activities

Activites are listed here on the "Home" page for convenience but can also be found under the "Schedule" tab and on the calendar.

Fall Morning Study Group
with Susan Nelson
Every other Tuesday morning September 1 – November 10
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Cost: $90 members; $110 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

Susan will be using the book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein. Goldstein's source teaching is the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's discourse on the four foundations of mindfulness. Mindfulness takes us through a deep study of the four qualities of mind, mindfulness of the body, and mindfulness of dharmas (or categories of experience), including the Five Hindrances, the Six Sense Spheres, the Seven Factors of Awakening, and more.

The morning study group is part of MZMC's advanced offerings, and this fall group is intended for people with an established meditation practice.

Awakening the Heart: How do we practice the bodhisattva way?
with Ted O'Toole
Five Wednesdays, September 2 – September 30, 7:15 – 8:45 p.m.
Cost: $90 members; $110 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

Mahayana Buddhism emphasizes the path of seeing through our preconceptions and conditioning so that we may give ourselves to the joy of serving others. Bodhisattavas are those who have given themselves to this path. In this class we'll study the Heart Sutra, chanted in Zen temples daily all over the world, which expresses the Bodhisattva ideal and the Buddhist concept of emptiness. We'll also explore the Paramitas (perfections of practice) and the formless precepts, guideposts for compassionate action.

Zen's Six Ancestors: A Travelog
with Lee Lewis
Friday, September 11, 7 p.m.
Offered by donation

We know very little about the founders of Zen. The historical record is scant and legends abound. Regardless, they are credited with planting seeds and cultivating the roots of our practice today, each adding and ingredient that was developed and expounded by future generations. In order to find out more Lee Lewis traveled to China and visited sites related to the teaching and transmission of these earliest ancestors. Come to see and hear a travelogue of his 12-day, 1500 mile pilgrimage.

Lee Lewis is a Soto Zen teacher in the Dainin Katagiri lineage. He taught and led retreats for a number of years at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center has served as the president of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and as executive director of Clare Housing. He has taught Zen at prisons and worked in hospice services. Having recently returned from China and sites related to the Six Ancestors of Chan (Zen), he is delighted to be be sharing his experiences and what he learned.

Retreat at Hokyoji Zen Practice Community, Eitzen MN
with Susan Nelson and Ted O'Toole
Tuesday September 22 at 7 pm through Sunday September 27 at noon
Cost for full retreat: $255 members; $330 nonmembers
Cost for two days (Fri. Sept. 25, 7 pm – Sun., Sept. 28, noon): $105 members; $135 nonmembers
Hours for full days: 5:45 am – 9:00 pm
Please register five days in advance.

The fall retreat at Hokyoji, in the bluff country of southeastern Minnesota, is an opportunity to practice surrounded by nature, far from the distractions of city life. We alternate sitting and walking meditation throughout the day, along with daily dharma talks, one-to-one meetings with the teachers, vegetarian meals, a work period, and outdoor group meditation walks. Bring camping gear or sleep in dorm-like accommodations. We will need at least 7 full-retreat participants to hold the retreat at Hokyoji.

Check out the MZMC Primer Series!

The MZMC primer series is composed of short overviews of topics of interest in Soto Zen Buddhism and in Buddhism more generally. The series is intended to give readers a comprehensive, but brief, introduction to a topic. Click here for more information and to download primers.

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.