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.

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

  • 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

November Events

Guest Teacher: Sosan Theresa Flynn, Guiding Teacher at Clouds in Water Zen Center
Sunday Morning Talk November 2, 2014, at 10 a.m.
By donation

Sosan began practicing Zen in 1992, was ordained as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest in 1997, and received dharma transmission from Joen Snyder O'Neal in 2012. Sosan is fully ordained and able to work with lay students, as well as those who wish to pursue priest ordination. For the past 16 years, Sosan has taught beginning and intermediate classes on Zen Buddhist principles, ethical guidelines, meditation practices and council practice. She has officiated at many ceremonies (daily liturgy, special liturgies, wedding, baby naming, and memorial services), and also offers premarital and couples counseling. Sosan has a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and worked in both community mental health and staff training before coming to work at the Zen center. Sosan lives in St. Paul with her husband of 26 years and their 15-year-old son.

Click here for Sosan's website.
Click here for more information on Clouds in Water Zen Center.

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.

One-Day Retreat
November 8 with Susan Nelson
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm
Cost: $45 members; $60 non-members
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
with Tim Burkett
Seven-day option: Sun., Nov. 30, 7 pm – Sun., Dec. 7, 4 pm
Five-day option: Wed., Dec. 3, 5:45 am – Sun., Dec. 7, 4 pm
Two-day option: Sat., Dec. 6, 5:45 am – Sun. Dec. 7, 4 pm
One-day option: Saturday, Dec. 6, 5:45 am – 9 pm
Hours for full days: 5:45 am – 9:00 pm

Cost for seven days: member $315; nonmember $420
Cost for five days: member $225; nonmember $270
Cost for two days: member $90; nonmember $120
Cost for one day: member $45; nonmember $60
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 30 at 7 p.m.

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.