Beginner’s Mind Experience

The next Beginner’s Mind Experience program starts on Saturday, May 5! The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 2.

All new members at the Brooklyn Zen Center are strongly encouraged to take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience, a 3-month introduction program to the various aspects of community practice at BZC.

As part of this program, members have the opportunity to join a peer practice group, experience various forms of wholehearted activity practice, and receive special rates on two introductory classes: Introduction to Zen Buddhism and Meditation in Everyday Life (discount available for one year; introductory classes will be offered again in fall 2018).

The program provides members with a sense of the variety and intimacy of zen practice in the BZC community and also offer embodied experience with how we can engage these practices in our daily lives.

To take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience, you must be a BZC member.

More information and registration available here.

Zen Priest Ordination at BZC

On March 18, the BZC sangha gathered for a very special and joyous occasion: the priest vow-taking ceremony of Inzan Rose.

Here are some of the images of the ceremony. More images are available at the BZC Facebook page here and the BZC Instagram here. All images by Terence Caulkins.











Less Guns, More Love

The Brooklyn Zen Center joined other Buddhist sanghas and the huge crowds at the March For Our Lives in New York on March 24.

New Audio Dharma Talk: Kaira Jewel Lingo

You can now listen to a dharma talk by visiting teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo, an ordained nun in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing: Creating a Beautiful Past (10/01/2017).

Drawing on her 15 years living as a nun with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the monastic community, as well as the transition back to lay life two years ago, Kaira Jewel explored in this dharma talk how living deeply in the present allows us to heal wounds from our past, not only in ourselves but also in our ancestors.

Here are some excerpts of the talk:

“We want to figure out how to relate skillfully to the past because there is very important material in our past that we want to learn from. And it is with us now. There is no escaping it, right? We are the past, right now. But how do we engage it skillfully? […]

Because the way we evolved, our minds stick to negative experiences, much more than positive ones. Our minds are like velcro to negative and teflon for positive experiences. Negative experiences lodge in the long-term memory immediately, but it takes 20 seconds for positive experiences to lodge in our long-term memory.”

Kaira Jewel will be leading a one-day sit at the Brooklyn Zen Center on April 1, on Awakening the Mind of Love: Attending to our Deepest Desire. During this one-day sit we will take time to fully experience our bodies, hearts and minds, through sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement, teachings, and group sharing. We will also explore the mind of love using the improvisational forms of InterPlay, an active and creative approach to unlocking the wisdom of the body (appropriate for all bodies and abilities).

Scholarship applications are available for this sit. Please apply by March 19. Registration closes March 23.

For those interested in an opportunity to initiate an exploration of these topics, please note that Kaira Jewel Lingo will be offering a dharma talk on Saturday, March 31, at 11 a.m. (no registration required).

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website, including other talks by Kaira Jewel Lingo.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, March 25

The next gathering of this group will take place off-site at the Dharma Den at 530 State Street, Apt 2, Brooklyn, NY. Also, please note that this gathering will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., instead of the usual 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. schedule.

For more information please see the program page and/or contact us at

Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine is a monthly group of Zen practitioners who identify, or are identified, as male coming together to explore the construct of patriarchy, its impact on our lives, our communities, and to work towards developing our sacred masculine identities; those dynamic and restorative aspects of masculinity that strengthen our ability to cultivate wisdom, compassion and community. Together, we will contemplate what the cost of patriarchy has been for the lives of everyone along the gender spectrum: How does patriarchy obstruct the expression of a sacred masculine identity? Could the expression of a sacred masculine identity lie at the heart of undoing the violence of patriarchy in our sanghas and communities?

Through a variety of practices including meditation, group dialogue, personal storytelling, journaling and ritual, we will unpack how patriarchy has shaped our expressions of masculinity and the self. We will take up a dharmic lens to examine our relationship to violence and domination, power, femininity, love and sexuality along a path to unveiling and honoring non-patriarchal expressions of who we are as human beings.  Our hope is that these efforts will further our own liberation and strengthen a process of cultivating balanced spiritual and secular communities.

Inclement weather notice

Due to the upcoming storm due to hit NYC tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/7), we may need to cancel our usual Wednesday evening program. We are monitoring weather conditions and will post a schedule update here and on BZC’s social media tomorrow by 3 p.m., at the latest. Stay tuned and be safe.




New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Emboldening the Bodhisattva Heart in Demanding Times (01/21/2017).




As we enter women’s month, this talk, offered on January 21 last year, the day of Women’s March, comes as a reminder of our demanding times. Here are some excerpts of the talk:

For me, I am in part sitting today in solidarity with a lot of people who are walking today. And although there may be many who may frame that as a protest, which in many ways it is, it is also an affirmation of human beings, people, who are being thoughtlessly cast aside. So, may we today, here and there, affirm everyone.

There are not times that are not demanding. Not to take away from the importance of this moment in time, but for a bodhisattva there are never not demanding times. There is never a time when the suffering of the world is not being put in our hands to respond to.

And what we may personally consider demanding is what we have allowed into the space that we understand as who we are. “Now, this affects me in a very direct way because it touches who I am.” But who I think I am is this limited little tinny thing, right? If we let that grow, than other things are who I am. The child soldiers in our country, that we call gangs – are they me? If they are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while. The slave trade of women all over the world – is that me? If so, then we’ve had demanding times for some time. The coal miners in Appalachia, who have had their environment destroyed by massive corporations and left with no way of understanding what to do next – are they me? If we are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while.

It’s an interesting human habit to be able to say that I’m not willing to let another person’s reality in, but I expect them to be changed by mine. Not with the balanced expectation that I should be changed by theirs.

Greg Snyder will be leading a three-day sesshin, from March 16 to 18, on Renouncing Preferences, Unfolding Boundlessness. The registration for this offering closes March 9 and scholarship applications will be accepted until March 7.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.