Getting Started

“You should therefore cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest. If you want to attain suchness, you should practice suchness without delay.” – Dogen, Fukanzazengi

“It is essential at the beginning of practice to acknowledge that the path is personal and intimate. It is no good to examine it from a distance as if it were someone else’s. You must walk it for yourself.” – Robert Aitken, Taking the Path of Zen

The primary practice of the Zen Center of Denver is zazen, or seated 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 interested in finding a lay (non-monastic) community, we offer the opportunity to practice with seasoned meditation practitioners.

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

Beginners’ nights are held the third Wednesday of the month from 6 – 7 p.m. on Zoom. Newcomers will receive very brief instruction in how to do seated meditation, followed by a single 25-minute round of meditation and then a discussion period focused on beginning practice. Our next beginners’ night is Sept. 16. Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84873524765?pwd=YVB5Y0ttNWpmZUNQZE0yS3FPcWRQdz09

Dharma talks and discussions with one of our teachers or senior students are frequently offered on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Please check the calendar for exact dates and times. We will begin with one twenty-five-minute round of silent seated meditation and then the talk. Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84873524765?pwd=YVB5Y0ttNWpmZUNQZE0yS3FPcWRQdz09

Our introductory seminar is the best way to get started at the Zen Center of Denver, and is recommended for anyone 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 sitting posture. Please wear subdued clothing comfortable for sitting cross-legged on cushions (although chairs are available for those unable to sit cross-legged). After attending the class you are welcome to join us for our regular morning and evening sittings. Classes are usually held every six weeks or so on a Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost for attending the class is $35. Note: Due to the pandemic, we have suspended most in-person activities at the Center, including the introductory seminar. Please consider attending one of our beginners’ nights instead (see above).

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