MLK one-day retreat with Greg Snyder, Jan 19

Event Details

  • Date:

Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death

In this retreat, the day and service will honor the teachings and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who once fiercely insisted we “realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” How do we understand the dharma of this teaching within our overall Zen practice? How is our practice informed by it? How do our karmic minds and lives express the moral universe and bend our behaviors toward justice? In light of the the teaching of dependent coarising, what are we saying when we speak powerful words like justice?

In Zen Buddhism we do not wait for others to relieve the dukkha of the world. Our vow is that of the Bodhisattva, which frames our liberation from personal dukkha within the liberation of all beings. So we engage our own practice wholeheartedly and immediately with this greater, even fathomless liberation seated in our hearts and minds. How do we find the generosity, moral integrity, patience, renewed energy, stability of mind and wisdom for this long arc? This retreat will serve as a place to discuss the Bodhisattva path through this lens of justice.

Please note that meditation instruction will still occur at 9am, but there will be no public program after that.

A one-day silent meditation retreat is an excellent opportunity to deepen your practice with others and sit a little longer than you are accustomed. It’s also a gentle way to prepare for the longer retreats that we offer throughout the year.

The schedule will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, a short work period, and an informal tea. A vegetarian lunch will be served.

Cost: Sustaining $80 / Standard $65 / Member Rate: $40

BZC offers retreats on a sliding scale basis to allow participants to pay according to individual means. Please consider giving at our sustaining rate, which directly supports inclusive community attendance on this retreat.

Registration for this offering is now closed.

Partial scholarships are available for retreats such as this one. Scholarship applications for this offering are no longer being accepted.

Please note our cancellation policy: To request a refund for this event, you must notify BZC in writing at least one week before the beginning of the course or event. Refunds are issued for any and all cancellations up to seven days before an event less a $10 processing fee. Less than seven days before an event, we do not offer refunds. There are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50.

About Greg Snyder

Greg Snyder is a dharma teacher and senior priest at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder and a current Board Member. He is also the Senior Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he directs and teaches in a Masters of Divinity program focused on Buddhism and Inter-religious Engagement. Greg received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Teah Strozer and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Greg is active with multiple interfaith and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-violence and social justice initiatives, and currently sits on the Brooklyn Borough President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships. Greg’s practice of Zen and the dharma includes an understanding that personal and social liberation are a deeply integrated process of mutual unfolding. In addition to teaching in a formal Zen context, he facilitates Undoing Whiteness and Undoing Patriarchy workshops and ongoing groups that focus on investigating self-identities that may unconsciously perpetuate societal suffering. His efforts include ensuring the dharma is truly available to everyone, supporting young people in practice, developing a community-responsive Zen center, and advocating for bringing the illumination of conditioning around patriarchy, racism and economic exploitation to the center of our Buddhist exploration of self. He is devoted to co-creating an American dharma movement that fully embraces a deep social engagement focused on transforming inequity, bias and violence in ourselves, our communities and the world.

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the entrance to the building. Please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. The center is located at the top of a steeper second staircase of 28 steps. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance; please email in advance if you need to have access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at