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 cannot 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

December and January Classes, Retreats and Other Activities

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

Dharma Family Sundays
Coordinated by Susan Nelson
Second Sunday of each month
11:45 am – 12:45 pm, with tea and social time at 11:00 am
This group will not meet when retreats are taking place. Please check the calendar.
By donation; no preregistration required

Dharma Family Sundays is for parents and children of all ages to come together to share the dharma with stories, meditation, songs, activities and food. This is a time for parents to share their practice place with the rest of the family and for children and parents to make connections with others in the Zen community, (not limited to members of MZMC).

Rohatsu Sesshin 2015
with Tim Burkett
Seven-day option: Sun., November 29, 7 pm – Sun., Dec. 6, 4 pm
Five-day option: Wed., December 2, 5:45 am – Sun., Dec. 6, 4 pm
Two-day option: Sat., December 5, 5:45 am – Sun. Dec. 6, 4 pm
One-day option: Sat., December 5, 5:45 am – Sat. Dec. 5, 9 pm
Hours for full days: 5:45 am – 9:00 pm

Cost for seven days: member $335; nonmember $435
Cost for five days: member $250; nonmember $325
Cost for two days: member $100; nonmember $130
Cost for one day: member $50; nonmember $65
Please register five days in advance.

Rohatsu (Buddha's Enlightenment) sesshin is arguably the year's most important event for Zen Buddhists. All over the world we sit in meditation, celebrating Buddha's awakening to an intimacy with all life as our own awakening. This formal retreat includes zazen, kinhin (walking meditation), liturgy, dharma talks, formal vegetarian meals using oryoki, dokusan (one-to-one meetings with the teachers), and work practice. All participants should attend the orientation on Sunday, November 29, at 7 p.m.

Sitting with Sutras: A Contemplative Afternoon
Saturday, December 12, 12 – 3 pm with Rosemary Taylor
Cost: $30 members; $35 non-members
Please register five days in advance. Limited to 10 people.

Spend a weekend afternoon in silent contemplation with some of the great words of Buddhism. We will read short passages from the sutras, listening deeply as we prepare to enter into silence with them. Short periods of shared reading will be followed by longer intervals of meditative silence as we quiet our ordinary minds in order to immerse ourselves in the experience underlying the words.

Zen Ritual and Liturgy: What is at the heart of bowing and chanting?
with Bussho Lahn
Six Wednesdays, January 13 – February 17
7:15 – 8:45 pm
Cost: $110 members; $135 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

Ritual is a basic component of our traditional-style practice at MZMC and has been central to Buddhist and Zen practice for thousands of years. This class is an investigation of both how and why we do ritual: bowing, chanting, tending altars, and others. We'll also study the meaning and purpose for some of the chants we use.

Zen Poetry: How is the inexpressible expressed?
with Ben Connelly
Thursdays, January 21 – February 25
7:15 – 8:45 pm
Cost: $110 members; $135 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

Many of the greatest expressions of Zen wisdom have come in the form of poetry, often focusing on encouragement for practice and appreciation of nature. Many great teachers of our past have used poetry as one of their principle means of revealing their way and their wisdom. This class will allow you to wade into one of the world's great bodies of spiritual literature.

Half Day Sesshin
with Guy Gibbon
Saturday, January 23
5:45 am – noon
Cost: $30 members; $40 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

This brief immersion in the traditional sesshin schedule is a good opportunity to become familiar with the forms, stay in practice, or brush up after some time away. This morning includes an orientation, zazen, kinhin (walking meditation), liturgy, a formal vegetarian breakfast using oryoki bowls, and one-to-one meetings with the teacher.

Online Class Offerings

Take an online course on some aspect of Buddhism with a MZMC teacher. Two structured online courses are presently available: "Introduction to Buddhism" and "Start a Zen Practice: A Self-Paced Course." Each course has six sections and is self-paced. It includes time with the instructor over the Internet or by phone. Click here for details and previews of the classes.

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.