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

Book Tour Schedule for 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.

  • Dharma Field, Minneapolis, MN, September 14
  • Decorah Zen Center, Decorah, IA, September 28
  • Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago, IL, September 29
  • Cleveland Buddhist Temple, Cleveland, OH, September 30
  • Still Mind Zendo, New York, NY, October 2
  • Zen Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, October 3–4
  • Sanshinji, Bloomington, IN, October 5
  • Midtown Altanta Zen Group, Atlanta, GA, October 17–18
  • Atlanta Soto Zen Center, Atlanta, GA, October 19
  • Bamboo in the Wind, Sunnyvale, CA, November 18
  • Mount Diablo Zen Center, Pleasant Hill, CA, November 19
  • Dogen Sangha Los Angeles, CA, November 21
  • Zen Center of Los Angeles, CA, November 22

August Events

Half-Day Sesshin
August 16 with Susan Nelson
Hours: 5:45 am – noon
Cost: $20 members; $25 non-members

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.

Dogen: How do we realize the fundamental point?
with Tim Burkett
Five Wednesdays, August 20 – September 17, and one Monday, September 22, 7:15 – 8:45 p.m.
Cost: $90 members; $110 nonmembers

Dogen Zenji, founder of our Soto school of Zen, was possessed with an astonishing combination of poetic facility, and spiritual and philosophical insight. His commitment to conveying the principle that enlightenment is available to everyone in every moment shines through his writings. Here is a chance to encounter the teacher who formed the way we practice at MZMC.

Guest Teacher: Zoketsu Norman Fischer
The Book of Serenity: Finding Peace and Practice in Classic Zen Koans
Workshop, Saturday, August 30, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: $70 members; $90 nonmembers

In this workshop Zen teacher Norman Fischer will guide us as we study, meditate on, practice with, write, and talk about a few stories from the classic Soto Zen collection of Chinese koans, The Book of Serenity. Despite their reputation for being quite challenging, koans can be powerful and fun once we learn to enter them without too much fuss. Our focus will be on how to practice dynamically with the koans to enhance our lives, that is, to deepen our practice and make our moments more fruitful.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet, author, Zen priest, and former Abbot of Zen Center. He is founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation, and is the author most recently of The Strugglers, a collection of long poems, (Singing Horse Press, 2012), and Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong (Shambhala, 2013).

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.