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.

Guiding Teacher Tim Burkett's Book Tour

Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are
by Guiding Teacher Tim Burkett
published by Shambhala Publications in April 2015

Tim's new book was published this spring. He is currently touring the Bay Area for the month of September.
Click here for more information on the tour and the book.
Click here to listen to his recent talk on the book at San Francisco Zen Center.
Click here to order the book.

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

October and November 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.

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).

Fall Practice Period: Nothing Holy About It (Tim's new book!)
with Tim Burkett and Wanda Isle
Wednesday evenings, October 7 – November 18, and Monday, November 23, 7:15 – 8:45 p.m.
(There is also a morning option for those who cannot attend Wednesday evenings: Thursdays, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.)
Cost: $145 members; $180 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

In this practice period (led by Tim Burkett with the assistance of Wanda Isle) we will read and reflect on the first half of Tim's book, Nothing Holy About It. In the first two chapters we'll reflect on ways in which our longing for a timeless joy may be transformed into a powerful aspiration to realize and manifest this joy. In chapter 3 we'll discuss how this penetrating joy is actually an aspect of who we already are. Then in chapters 4 and 5 we'll see how the path to joy leads right through the fear body. But we don't have to get stuck there. Chapters 6 & 7 offer ways to move through the fear body to the abiding joy that is always with us.

Participants are expected to attend the eight weekly meetings, commit to regular zazen practice, attend at least one day of retreat and one work practice day, read the assigned text(s), and have regular meetings with an assigned practice partner.

Zen Forms and Etiquette
with Bussho Lahn
Choose one the following dates: October 16 or November 29
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Suggested donation: $10
Please register five days in advance.

This class is one-hour long. The same information is covered each time. We will cover the basics of traditional Zen forms: bows, entries and exits, walking meditation, etc. This offering is designed for the newcomer who would like an overview of forms to help them be more comfortable when joining us for morning zazen or one of our sesshins. It is also a great refresher course for those more experienced.

Sitting with Sutras: A Contemplative Afternoon
with Bussho Lahn
Saturday, October 10, 12 – 3 pm
Cost: $30 members; $35 non-members
Please register five days in advance.

Spend a weekend afternoon in silent contemplation with some of the great words of Buddhism. We'll 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.

Half-Day Sesshin
October 17 with Bussho Lahn
Hours: 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.

Fall Work Practice Afternoons
Sunday, October 18, 11:45 am – 3:45 pm
Saturday, November 7, 11 am – 3 pm

Work practice is our opportunity to give our efforts to the community by taking care of the space we share. In work practice we can express the essence of Zen, the delight of mindful activity, and appreciation of the manifest world.

Work practice afternoons include a vegetarian lunch or snack, so please let us know in advance if you plan to attend. Thank you. info@mnzencenter.org

One-Day Retreat
November 14 with Guy Gibbon
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm
Cost: $50 members; $65 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

One-Day Retreats are conducted in a contemporary context, without the formal elements involved in sesshin. They include walking and sitting meditation, a dharma talk, one-to-one meetings with the teacher, a vegetarian buffet lunch, and work practice. Meditators at all levels of experience are invited.

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.

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.