Sesshins / Special Events

We host a monthly Newcomer Night the first Sunday of each month, and we host occasional zazenkai (one-day retreats). Throughout the year there are various sesshin opportunities with our larger sangha, the STO.

Find info on our regular weekly practice schedule by clicking here.

Click on an event below to learn more:

10/1           –          Newcomer Night     –     5:00-6:30

at Memphis Friends (Quaker) Meeting House

This week will include the normal program of zazen (sitting meditation) but will be geared MemphisZenLogo1towards newcomers and anybody wishing to brush up on technique. Bring a meditation cushion if you have one. We start promptly at 5:00p.m., so please plan your schedule accordingly.

If you have attended Newcomer Night before and do not prefer to hear the introduction to zazen, just be there and ready to sit by 5:25.

We will start with a brief orientation for newcomers, sit two periods of zazen with 5-10 minutes of walking meditation (kinhin) in between, followed by time for questions, answers, and discussion. $5 donation request per visit – more if you can, less if you can’t, or become a member.

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.

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


TBA           –          Zazenkai / One-Day Retreats     –     9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.


Stay tuned for dates of upcoming Zazenkai.

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.

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

MZC is a Zen Buddhist sangha and 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.

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

Watch this space for info on upcoming retreats with Prof. Mark Muesse.

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  Click for directions to the practice center.