There is road construction temporarily closing East Lake Calhoun Parkway, the road in front of the Zen Center. Please approach the Center from Hennepin Avenue. You may park on 34th Street near Irving Avenue and take the sidewalk down to the Parkway. Thank you!


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).

From Heart to Heart: Liberating Our Compassion

with Guest Teacher Paula Arai
One-day Workshop on Saturday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Minnesota Zen Meditation Center is pleased to present a one-day workshop on Saturday, March 28, with guest teacher Paula Arai, Associate Professor of Buddhist and Asian studies at Louisiana State University. Paula has a strong Minnesota connection, having previously taught at Carleton College in Northfield. In addition, she was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Soto Zen Buddhist Association conference, where a number of Minnesota Zen teachers were delighted by her ability to convey the great heart that is the essence of Zen ritual.

The workshop will explore several aspects of Paula's work, including healing rituals, creating our own rituals, and contemplative calligraphy practice.
Click here for more information or to register.

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. You may also contact our office to set up a visit.

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:

Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou's Classic Zen Poem

written by Ben Connelly, MZMC Senior-Priest-in-Training, and published by Wisdom Publications in July 2014

Click here, for more information on Inside the Grass Hut.

Click on the link below to listen to host Jack Rice (950 AM) talking with Ben about his book.

January Events

Dharma Family Sundays
Coordinated by Susan Nelson
Second and fourth Sundays of each month 11:45 am – 12:45 pm, with tea and social time at 11:00 am
This group meets concurrently with Youth Group on the Sundays when Youth Group meets. This group will not meet when retreats are taking place. Please check the calendar.
Click here for more information.

Mindful Parenting with Diane Benjamin
Sunday, January 25, 11:45 a.m.
To register, please contact the office.
Offered by donation

Dharma Family Sunday presents a special session for the parents on Mindful Parenting. Children will have their own program during this session, led by DFS teachers and volunteers. Please register to attend this program; Diane is generously giving her time to bring this to our parents at MZMC. Hope to see you there!

Diane Benjamin is a Zen Buddhist practitioner and mother. She has taught classes on mindful parenting at Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center and Clouds in Water Zen Center, and teaches in the children's practice program there. Currently, she is co-facilitating a Dharma Family class for parents and young children. Diane and her family have attended numerous retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh and his community, and she draws from that experience to inform her teaching and practice of bringing mindfulness into family life.

Core Teachings of Dogen, Part Two
with Tim Burkett
Six Wednesdays, January 28 – March 4, 7:15 – 8:45 p.m.
Cost: $110 members; $135 nonmembers
Please register five days in advance.

Here is a chance to encounter the teacher who formed the way we practice at MZMC. We will continue our exploration of his teaching in the only comprehensive discussion of his thought: Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist by Hee-Jin Kim and Taigen Dan Leighton. This class is open to anyone who has some exposure to the teaching of Dogen even if you did not take part one.

Book Reading: The The Mindfulness Habit by Kate Sciandra
Friday, January 30, at 7 p.m.
No preregistration necessary.
This reading is offered by donation.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Kate Sciandra will read from and sign her new book, The Mindfulness Habit: Six Weeks to Creating the Habit of Being Present. Click here for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities: Giving Back in the New Year

Bodhisattva Build: Habitat for Humanity
Minnesota Zen Center will continue its partnership with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity this winter. Join Twin Cities Zen community volunteers to construct a Habitat home with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Your efforts will help a well-deserving family realize the dream of a safe, affordable place to call home. No experience is necessary. Twin Cities Habitat provides all tools, materials, and supervision. Volunteers can register for a build day on Saturday, February 7. Please contact the office if you would like to participate. Click here for more information.

Second Harvest Heartland Volunteer Opportunity
Please join us Saturday, February 14, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. working to eliminate hunger at Second Harvest in Golden Valley. Those of us who attended last year enjoyed it and, along side other volunteers, packed hundreds of pounds of food for people in need. This is a family friendly volunteer event open to adults and children over 8 years old (who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). Please contact Chris Jones through the MZMC office if you would like to participate.

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.