Independent Meditation Center Guide

"Thus, whether one leads a spiritual life depends on whether one has been successful in bringing about that disciplined, tamed state of mind and translating that state of mind into one's daily actions."
Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness.

Chicago Zen Meditation Community
Chicago,  Illinois   60602
(For best directions, please ask the center.)
Zen - Soto
Email Click to contact via e-mail
Phone 312-576-3582
Center's Description
We are a diverse group of Chicagoans committed to practicing the Zen way of awakening together, and to providing a place for others to come to and deepen their own practice. See our website at for additional information.

We meet twice per week: Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and Wednesday afternoons at 2:15 p.m. in the Chicago Loop.

On Sunday evenings, we meet for zazen, chanting and a dharma talk. We meet at the Cenacle Retreat Center, 513 W. Fullerton, in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Meditation begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Meditation instruction is available for newcomers every week at 6:40 p.m.

On Wednesday afternoons, we meet for zazen, kinhin, and a dharma talk. We meet at 30 N. Michigan Ave., Room 1111 (across the street from Millennium Park). Meditation begins promptly at 2:15 p.m., so please plan to arrive early. If you are new to Buddhist meditation, please plan to attend a meditation instruction session before your first visit. Our teacher, Myoshi Thomson, offers meditation instruction to newcomers every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in Suite 1008 of the same building. If you are planning on attending meditation instruction, please email us at so we know to expect you.

We practice in the Sōtō Zen Buddhist tradition, which traces its heritage back to Buddha through a 2500-year history of fellow practitioners, including our ancient teachers Bodhidharma, Caoqi Huineng, Dongshan Liangjie, and Eihei Dōgen, and our modern teachers, Dainin Katagiri, Shoken Winecoff, and Myoshi Thomson, who guides our practice here in Chicago.

We welcome all to join us in our practice of the way of Zen. What is this practice? The founder of our lineage in Japan, Eihei Dōgen (1200-1253), put it simply: “To study the Way is to study the self; to study the self is to forget the self; to forget the self is to be awakened by all things.” Our practice, then, starts with ourselves, with seeing clearly who we are, and how we are, right now, in this moment.

Our basic activity together is quiet seated meditation. Indeed, the word “Zen” itself is derived from a Sanskrit word for meditation, and sitting in silent meditation has always been the central practice of awakening in Zen. But together we learn to practice the way of awakening in all our activities, and indeed to make our very lives themselves expressions of the awakened mind and heart.

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