Brooklyn Zen Center’s mission is to cultivate an open community based on the Buddha’s teachings of love and interconnectedness. We are an embodied training community in the Soto Zen tradition. We aspire to offer opportunities to realize personal and collective liberation through the cultivation of intimate, ethical, and just relationship with ourselves and all beings. Our vow to practice undoing harmful and oppressive conditioning compassionately transforms our world.
Founded in 2005 as the first Zen Center in Shunryu Suzuki’s lineage in New York, BZC embraces both Soto Zen tradition as well as the complex realities of practice in a diverse urban environment. BZC has grown rapidly to become one of the most active, community-engaged Zen centers in the northeast.
Until very recently, BZC operated two separate temples: Boundless Mind Temple, a rented space in Brooklyn that we occupied for ten years and which was the primary heart of our community; and Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery (AHZM), located two hours outside of New York City, which we purchased in June 2019. After Tassajara, Ancestral Heart is the second training monastery in Suzuki Roshi’s U.S. lineage, and the first on the East Coast. It is currently home to eight full-time residents, including our senior teachers.
Due to Covid-19 and the financial distress resulting from BZC’s prolonged physical closure since March 2020, our Board of Directors made the painful decision in July to end the lease on our Brooklyn temple and base BZC’s now-online offerings out of Ancestral Heart. We are fully committed to reopening a Brooklyn location when it is safe and feasible to do so. Please note that we have also suspended all visits to AHZM for the time being, in order to maintain social distancing and protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.