Getting Started

For people interested in finding a lay (non-monastic) community, we offer the opportunity to practice with seasoned meditation practitioners. Our primary practice is zazen, or Zen meditation; zazen is the heart of Zen practice, and is both the full expression of our inherent enlightenment as well as the means of uncovering it. Zazen can take place in stillness (sitting meditation) and in activities such as walking meditation and work practice. Therefore, we encourage a quiet, meditative atmosphere and use many traditional Zen forms to help us in that regard.

For people new to our practice, we offer two primary ways to get started:

Our introductory seminar is recommended for people new to Zen and sitting meditation. During this three-hour class, you can meet the teachers, ask questions about Zen, become familiar with our practice forms and learn how to meditate in a comfortable zazen posture. We ask that you wear subdued clothing comfortable for sitting on cushions, although chairs are available for those not used to sitting on a mat. After attending the class you are welcome to join us for our regular morning and evening sittings. Classes are usually held every few months on a Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost for attending the class is $35. Please check our calendar for exact dates.

Teisho or Dharma talks by one of our teachers or senior students are offered on most Sundays from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Please check the calendar for dates and times. We begin with two twenty-five-minute rounds of meditation (with walking meditation between rounds), followed by a short chanting service and then the talk. If you have already attended an introductory class, please plan to arrive at 7:50 a.m. If you have not attended an introductory class, please arrive at 8:50 a.m. for the chanting service and talk. Tea and cookies are served afterward, and you are welcome to stay and get acquainted with members of our community.

If you are already familiar with Zen and sitting meditation (i.e. have trained at another Zen center) and feel that you can sit quietly without moving for twenty-five minutes, we ask that you arrive around fifteen minutes prior to an evening sitting to become familiar with our practice forms.

For additional information, please contact the office by email (office@zencenterofdenver.org) or phone (303-455-1500).