Equitable Pricing Model

Brooklyn Zen Center is committed to offering classes, workshops, and retreats on a sliding scale in an aspiration to move towards equity within our sangha. We are a Soto Zen lineage that, like all faith traditions, is built by community.

“Dana” means generosity in Pali, and is one of our first practices. For some, it is an act of dana to support other community members; for some, it is an act of dana to receive support.

The Buddha insisted that once monks entered the sangha, their former castes became irrelevant—a radical act in a society defined by those divisions. As a socially-engaged sangha in the American context, BZC asks its participants to care for and acknowledge histories of caste and class based on racial segregation, patriarchy, and colonial expansion, and to care for those histories as they affect our community. Dana is a profound practice in a culture that tells all of us, regardless of our wealth, that we don’t have enough.

We offer this pricing model as a mindfulness practice, a mirror to show us how we relate to those histories, and how we might collectively towards the liberation of all.

Please answer the following questions for yourself to determine your appropriate registration rate. You don’t need to share the answers with BZC. Anything given beyond the “Sustaining Rate” will go into a fund to make our offerings accessible to others.

  1. Are you or your immediate family homeowners or landowners?
  2. Do you hold a college or advanced degree?
  3. Are you able to make minimum payments on bills or credit cards?
  4. Do you have zero debt and/or do you have disposable income?
  5. Do you have a safety net composed of financially stable family and friends?
  6. Do you have U.S. Citizenship?
  7. Has your family been free from discrimination in housing and financial institutions?
  8. Does your income only support you, and not other loved ones?
  9. Have you or do you expect to inherit money or property?
“Yes” AnswersNon-MemberMember of 3+ Months
7-9Flourishing RateSustaining or Flourishing Rate
4-6Sustaining RateBase or Sustaining Rate
0-3Base RateSupported Rate

If you’re unable to pay at the lowest rate, please use this form to apply for an exemption. We encourage practitioners of color to make use of our reserve funds for retreats.

As an ongoing encouragement to practice, weekly meditation is offered freely.

Cancellation Policy
  • To request a refund for a class, you must notify BZC in writing before the start of the first class.
  • To request a refund for programs of one day, you must notify BZC in writing at least 48 hours before the beginning of the program.
  • To request a refund for three-day and five-day retreats, you must notify BZC in writing at least 72 hours before the beginning of the retreat.
  • To request a refund for weeklong retreats or longer retreats, you must notify BZC in writing at least 14 days before the beginning of the retreat.

Otherwise, we cannot offer refunds, except in emergency situations. This policy supports the organizing effort involved in managing registrations and cancellations and the largely volunteer-based structure of the Brooklyn Zen Center.

To request a refund, please email info@brooklynzen.org.