Recent Events

We’re an active group. Click to find out more about past MZC events:

2017
8/11 – 8/13          –           MZC Summer Sesshin Retreat     –     Memphis, TN

Please join us for our second almost-annual summer sesshin. A sesshin is a Zen retreat, but the term means “to gather the mind.” For a weekend, we will live in community and gather our minds, deepening our practice as we sit zazen, eat, and experience the Dharma together in Sanders Lodge at beautiful St. Columba Episcopal Center, located about 20-25 minutes from midtown Memphis.

Click here for the sesshin schedule and other important information.

Space is limited, advance registration required. Click below to register and pay online. The fees will cover our expenses for the beautiful accommodations and delicious meals. Any leftover contributions in excess of that will go towards purchasing a new set of gongs and a drum for our practice, so that we may return our borrowed instruments to our friends at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, who have let us use theirs for several years.

Full Sesshin: $170

Half attendance (one night): $90

Commuter participation: $40/day

Cost includes meals (vegan with egg/dairy options) during the time of your attendance, some snacks, and overnight accommodations in Sanders Lodge for non-commuters. Towels provided. Bring your own bedding. Lodge is fully air-conditioned and includes ample bathing and restroom facilities.

The text for our Dharma study will be the “Heart Sutra” chapter from Living by Vow by Shohaku Okumura, our current Dharma Study book.

Please join us for our summer sesshin. This will be a great opportunity to enjoy noble silence, deepen your experience of Zen, and get a good taste of retreat practice.

2016

12/4-12/11     –          Annual Rohatsu Sesshin / Retreat     –     ASZC

The Atlanta Soto Zen Center will host a week-long retreat (sesshin) to commemorate the Buddha’s Enlightenment. Attendees are invited to participate for any amount of the retreat. Many attend specifically for the weekend. Information and registration are available at the STO website.

5/7                     –          Day of Mindfulness      –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

mindfulmemphisWatch this space for information about the upcoming Day of Mindfulness at Rhodes College, offered by the monks and nuns. You will enjoy a day-long retreat of mindfulness meditation of the Order of Interbeing / Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, MS.

Saturday, May 7, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Rhodes College.

Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome.  Instruction in meditation practice will be offered to those who desire it.

Please bring a vegetarian lunch to enjoy.

Please bring a meditation cushion if you have one.  A limited number of cushions will be available.  Chairs will also be furnished.

For more information or to a reserve a place, email profmuesse@gmail.com.

2015

9/5                 –        Day of Mindfulness Retreat     –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

Enjoy a day-long retreat of mindfulness meditationmindfulmemphis

Saturday, September 5, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Tennessee Buddhist Vihara

4901 Ross Road, Memphis, TN 38141

Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome.  Instruction in meditation practice will be offered to those who desire it.

The retreat will comprise alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation.  All participants will observe silence throughout the day.

The retreat will be coordinated by Dr. Mark W. Muesse, professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and author of the Practicing Mindfulness series by The Great Courses.

The retreat is completely free.  A free vegetarian meal will be provided.  Retreatants may make a donation to the temple if they desire.  Space is limited.

Please bring a meditation cushion if you have one.  A limited number of cushions will be available.  Chairs will also be furnished.

For more information or to a reserve a place, email profmuesse@gmail.com.  Click for directions to the practice center.

9/3 – 9/6         –          Nashville Zen Center, Fall Retreat     –     Ashland City, TN

NZC_logo[1]Nashville’s Fall Retreat will be in idyllic Penuel Ridge in Ashland City, TN, over Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 3 through September 6).

NZC sets things up Thursday night, and the retreat goes until Sunday at noon. Schedule will include zazen, dharma teaching, meals, and plenty of breaks. Carpool from Memphis may be possible. Inquire here.

Retreat fee is $200 and covers the actual per-person rate for accommodations at Penuel Ridge and for the food lovingly prepared by NZC students. It also defrays the cost of travel and provides modest compensation to our compassionate teacher and STO Abbot Taiun Michael Elliston, Roshi, who will be traveling up from our home temple in Atlanta. He will lead the retreat and offer individual dokusan (practice discussion) with each attendee.

Please register by contacting Nyoze Nat Brown at nat.zero@yahoo.com and pay via Paypal or send check to Nashville Zen Center at 8553 Sawyer Brown Road, Nashville, TN 37221. Prorated rates for those who cannot attend the entire retreat will be available, and reduced rates for those who are financially strapped are also available. Contact Nat for details.

According to our brothers and sisters of Nashville Zen Center, “It’s gonna be a rip-roarin’ good time!” Space is limited, so register as soon as possible.

7/31 – 8/2     –           First Annual MZC Summer Retreat     –     Memphis, TN

Our guiding teacher Michael Taiun Elliston, Roshi, will be joining us from Atlanta. We will sit zazen, eat, and experience the Dharma together in Sanders Lodge at beautiful St. Columba Episcopal Center, located about 20-25 minutes from midtown Memphis.

Click here for the sesshin schedule and other important information.

Space is limited, advance registration required. Click below to register and pay online. “Shipping” cost offsets the fee PayPal charges us.

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Cost is $175 for full participation, and includes all meals (vegan with egg/dairy options), some snacks, and overnight accommodations in Sanders Lodge. Towels provided. Bring your own bedding. Lodge is fully air-conditioned and includes ample bathing facilities.

One-day commuter participants (2 meals included): $75

Two-day commuter participants (2 meals/day included): $150

Other configurations possible. Message us.

Please join us for our first – and hopefully annual – summer sesshin. This will be a great opportunity to deepen your experience of Zen and get a good taste of retreat practice.

7/8 – 7/13     –            Annual Zen Precepts Retreat     –     Atlanta, GA

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This annual retreat at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center will involve study of the Zen precepts, and for those who wish, the opportunity to take jukai (initiation ceremony) and become become an official student of the Way. Advance registration required. Follow link below.

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More info and RegOnline secure registration here.

Arrive on Wednesday, 7/8, and participate in 3 full days of Zen practice. Attendees will alternate between periods of sitting/walking meditation, dharma talks or study, and breaks for exercise or rest. Those not wishing to attend the STO annual conference will have Saturday afternoon free.

Carpooling available! Get in touch here.

5/30, 6/27, 7/25      –         Summer Zazenkai / One-Day Retreats     –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

MemphisZenLogo1

Zazenkai (short retreat) is a Zen tradition and provides us with an opportunity to enjoy a dedicated period of intensive meditation practice away from the distractions and obligations of a typical day. If you aspire to grow in your practice and meet like-minded folks who wish to do the same, we hope you’ll come join us at Memphis Friends Meeting for this special day.

You can participate for any amount of time you wish. Just be sure to enter silently and seat yourself if you come during zazen (see schedule below). We have some meditation cushions, but bring yours if you have one. Wear loose, nondistracting clothing. Bring a vegetarian lunch or plan to eat at a nearby restaurant. Several are within walking distance.

See the Zazenkai Schedule here.

Donation request is $20, but as always, more if you can, less if you can’t. We have space for around 12 people, so first-come, first served. Register in advance to reserve a spot.

[wpecpp name=”Zazenkai 5/30″ price=”20″ shipping=”1″]

The additional $1 for “shipping” offsets the fee PayPal charges us.

Or RSVP here if you wish to attend but plan to donate onsite.

MZC is a Soto Zen is an affiliate of the Silent Thunder Order (STO) of Soto Zen communities.

VERY IMPORTANT: You may only park on the street, in the small parking lot behind MFM, or in the Kroger gas station parking lot across the street. People who park in the Pittman Insurance lot may be subject to towing.

5/16 – 5/17    –           Brad Warner at Nashville Zen Center     –     Nashville, TN

NZC_logo[1]Zen Teacher Brad Warner, author of hilarious yet highly informative and practice-centered books such as Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up!, will be in Nashville sometime in mid-May and will likely conduct a one-day retreat with Nashville Zen Center and offer a few readings/lectures.

Check back for details as we get closer to the event. This is all we know from NZC right now.

4/3 – 4/5         –           Nashville Zen Center, Spring Retreat     –     Ashland City, TN

NZC_logo[1]Our Spring Retreat will be in idyllic Penuel Ridge in Ashland City, TN, over Easter Weekend (April 2 through April 5).

We are setting up Thursday night, and the retreat goes until Sunday at noon. Schedule will include zazen, dharma teaching, meals, and plenty of breaks. Carpool from Memphis will be available for up to three people. Inquire about carpooling here.

Retreat fee is $200 and covers the actual per-person rate for accommodations at Penuel Ridge and for the food lovingly prepared by Tenzo Dave, a professional chef. It also defrays the cost of travel and provides modest compensation to our compassionate teacher and STO Abbot Taiun Michael Elliston, Roshi, who will be traveling up from our home temple in Atlanta. He will lead the retreat and offer individual dokusan (practice discussion) with each attendee.

And, yes, that means we’ll have a real live Roshi in attendance! He will offer a jukai ceremony (Zen initiation / refuges) for those who wish to become official Zen practitioners. Let Elizabeth know as soon as possible if you plan to do this, and/or contact her for details about this option. Preparations have to be made if you wish to be included in this joyous event.

Please register by contacting Nyoze Nat Brown at nat.zero@yahoo.com and pay via Paypal or send check to Nashville Zen Center at 8553 Sawyer Brown Road, Nashville, TN 37221. Prorated rates for those who cannot attend the entire retreat will be available, and reduced rates for those who are financially strapped are also available. Contact Nat for details.

According to our brothers and sisters of Nashville Zen Center, “It’s gonna be a rip-roarin’ good time!” Space is limited, so register as soon as possible.

3/20 – 3/21     –           Sesshin w/ Mississippi Zen Sangha     –     Starkville, MS

More info at Zen in Mississippizimlogo

Arrive on Friday evening, March 20 for evening zazen, stay overnight at the Starkville Zen Dojo, and spend Saturday, March 21 in silent Zen practice. Get in touch if you’d like to join a carpool leaving Friday afternoon (3/20). The Mississippi Zen sangha is a Soto Zen community in a lineage closely related to our own. See the schedule here.

Resident monk and Zen teacher Tony Bland accepts donations of $20-$50 for those attending. Simple vegetarian food and basic overnight accommodations provided.

Bring loose, dark-colored clothing and a cushion and mat if you own them.

Please remember that we will be guests, not members of this sangha, and space is at a premium in Bland-Roshi’s dojo. In deference to his students and their Zen training, we can only attend if he has the space for us. Advance registration is required, and accommodations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to inquire about available space at this sesshin, email info@zeninmississippi.org.

3/6 – 3/8          –           Nyoho-e Zen Sewing Retreat     –     Atlanta, GA

This annual retreat at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center features guest teacher Kaaren Wiken, one of a handful of experts in the quintessential art of Zen sewing, or Nyoho-e.aszclogo

Attendees will alternate between periods of sitting/walking meditation and sewing sessions with Kaaren and sangha members. Everyone is invited to participate in this very special practice that is unique to Zen.

Carpooling available!

More information and registration here!

1/31                  –           Zen Mini-Retreat     –     9:00a.m. – 3:00p.m.

MemphisZenLogo1This retreat is open to anyone at any level of experience in Zen, including none at all. If you want to become a part of MZC or at least see what we’re about, this is a great introduction.

You can come for any amount of the day you wish to participate. Just be sure to enter silently and seat yourself if you come during a meditation period (see schedule below). We have some meditation cushions, but bring yours if you have one. Wear loose, nondistracting clothing. Bring a vegetarian lunch or plan to eat at a nearby restaurant. Several are in walking distance.

Donation request is $15-$20, but as always, more if you can, less if you can’t. Please RSVP here.

This is the schedule:

9:00 – 9:40am – Introduction to Zazen (Zen meditation)
9:45am – 10:40am – Zazen + Kinhin (sitting and walking meditation, x2)
10:40am – 11:00 am – Chanting
11:00am – 12:00am Talk and Discussion “Taking Refuge: Living a Zen Life”
12:00pm – 1:00pm – Meal Chant and Lunch (silent for the first 10 minutes)
Note: Please bring your own vegetarian lunch. Plenty of restaurants walking distance.
1:00pm – 1:30pm Zazen (+ opportunity for 1-on-1 practice discussion with Elizabeth)
1:30pm – 1:40pm Kinhin
1:40pm – 2:10pm Zazen
2:10pm – 3:00pm Tea and Discussion

MZC is a Soto Zen community affiliated with the Atlanta Soto Zen Center and the Silent Thunder Order (STO) of Soto Zen communities.

VERY IMPORTANT: You may only park on the street, in the small parking lot behind MFM, or in the Kroger gas station parking lot across the street. People who park in the Pittman Insurance lot may be subject to towing.

2014

12/26                –           Day of Mindfulness Retreat     –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

Enjoy a day-long retreat of mindfulness meditationmindfulmemphis

Saturday, 26 December 2014, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Tennessee Buddhist Vihara

4901 Ross Road, Memphis, TN 38141

Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome.  Instruction in meditation practice will be offered to those who desire it.

The retreat will comprise alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation.  All participants will observe silence throughout the day.

The retreat will be coordinated by Dr. Mark W. Muesse, professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and author of the Practicing Mindfulness series by The Great Courses.

The retreat is completely free.  A free vegetarian meal will be provided.  Retreatants may make a donation to the temple if they desire.  Space is limited.

Please bring a meditation cushion if you have one.  A limited number of cushions will be available.  Chairs will also be furnished.

For more information or to a reserve a place, email profmuesse@gmail.com.  Click for directions to the practice center.

12/8 – 12/14     –           Rohatsu Sesshin, Starkville, MS

more info at Zen in Mississippizimlogo

Rohatsu is a very special Zen tradition: a week-long sesshin that happens each year in December to commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment. It traditionally ends with an all-night zazen vigil (or as long as you can hold out before falling asleep). Practitioners may attend all or part of this sesshin. Carpooling is possible. Get in touch if you’d like to join a carpool leaving late afternoon, Dec. 11 to attend the weekend portion of the sesshin. This is one of the precious few opportunities laypeople have for extended immersion in Zen practice, and it can be a life-transforming experience.

Resident monk and Zen teacher Tony Bland accepts donations for those attending retreats with his sangha. Simple vegetarian food and overnight accommodations provided.

Bring loose, dark-colored clothing and a cushion and mat if you own them.

Advance registration required. For more information or to register for the sesshin, email info@zeninmississippi.org.

12/6 – 12/7       –           Rohatsu “All-Night Rodeo,” with Nashville ZC in Ashland City, TN

Saturday Night at 6pm to Sunday Morning at 6am || ROHATSU!!!

We are sitting up all night at Penuel Ridge in Ashland City, consuming all-you-can-eat-carbs potluck, and having group breakfast at daybreak. Sound good? Of course, it does.

Contact us to register as we only have 20 spots at the ready. We are asking you give $40 if you can (because that is what we are being charged) but you can’t give $40, just give what you can NZC_logo[1]and *come*. Use the Paypal link on the site if you prefer that over cash. Bring a dish or, failing that, your favorite junk food!

It’s a “drop-in when you can, drop-out if you have to” event. Come and go as you please. It’s no biggie if you come late. And we aren’t having a formal sit either. You get up whenever you want. Go for a walk or go and take a nap in a comfy bed in the main house. We’re just ringing the Big Bell once every hour so people know what time it is.

10/9 – 10/12     –           Zazenkai Retreat in Atlanta

October 2014 Zazenkai Retreat – Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:00 PM –
Sunday, October 12, 2014 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Atlanta Soto Zen Centeraszclogo

1167 Zonolite Place
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
United States
The theme of our retreat is “Practical Exercises for Zen Meditation”, and will feature teaching by
  • Taiun Michael Elliston Roshi
  • Jiryu Frederic Lecut

Attend any or all of the retreat as you are able. Fees are $50 ($45 for supporting members) per full day, i.e.Friday & Saturday, and $15 for overnight accommodations. Registration info here.

WHAT TO BRING ON A RETREAT

DETAILED SCHEDULE

GOOD TO KNOW

ASZC.ORG

STORDER.ORG

7/27                    –           Zen for Quakers     –     10:00 – 11:00a.m.

at Memphis Friends (Quaker) Meeting House

The “meeting for learning” is a regular feature of Quaker gatherings each Sunday. This week,MemphisZenLogo1 the Memphis Friends will learn about Zen and its commonalities with Quaker tradition. Memphis Friends always welcome visitors to their Meeting House. If you missed “Zen 101” on July 19, this is another opportunity to be introduced to Zen tradition.

7/19                    –           Zen 101     –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

at Memphis Friends (Quaker) Meeting House

A fun and easy intro to Zen meditation and tradition, basic philosophies of Buddhism, and not least, the way of liberation from suffering. Lunch nearby afterwards if folks wish.MemphisZenLogo1

Bring your own meditation cushion if you have one. $10 donation request. Please RSVP here. Space is limited.

VERY IMPORTANT: You may only park in the small parking lot behind the meeting house, on the street, or at the Kroger gas station across the street.