How to Get Started at the Zen Center of Denver
1. Zazen: Zen Meditation: The most readily available way to get started is to join us for evening zazen. Please read the material on this site about how to sit before coming. Our usual zazen schedule is Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-8:45 pm. Other events, such as ceremonies, chanting services or discussions are sometimes included during the evening. These are all open to newcomers after you have received instruction held on most Tuesday evenings, so feel welcome to come if you wish. Plan to arrive no later than 6:45 to receive instruction on Tuesday evenings. Instruction is available only to those 18 years and older with a personal interest in Zen meditation. We are no longer able to accommodate school students during our evening meditation periods. A person known as the Jisha (wearing a blue sash) greets people at the door, and will answer questions. Instruction in the fundamentals of Zen meditation is provided beginning at approximately 6:50 p.m. A donation of $5 to help support the Zen Center is requested for the initial Tuesday evening instruction, and a donation of one’s own choosing is requested thereafter when attending meditation at the Zen Center. After you have received instruction, you are welcome to attend any evening, morning, or Sunday sittings you wish. It is not necessary to receive instruction every time you come unless you would like a refresher course. On occasion, the Center is closed for holidays or retreats (sesshin), so please contact the office or check the calendar before coming.
2. Teisho and Dharma Talks: These are held on two or more Sundays each month from 8-10:30 am. A short chanting service and the talk follows two rounds of zazen. You can attend the full schedule or just come at 8:45 for the chanting and talk. Tea and cookies are served after the talk; please feel welcome to stay and get acquainted with members of the Zen Center community.
3. Introduction to Zen Seminars: These are a thoroughgoing introduction to the theory and practice of Zen, and are a prerequisite for membership at the Zen Center. The day and a half seminars are held on three weekends per year.
The Lotus in the Flame Temple maintains a regular schedule of zazen two evenings and four mornings per week. These are all open to the public, but those who are coming to their first sitting must come to a Tuesday evening sitting for instruction (please arrive no later than 6:45 p.m.). Evening zazen takes place on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7- 8:45 p.m. Morning zazen takes place Tuesday through Friday mornings from 6-7:00 a.m. Occasionally, the center is closed for holidays or retreats, so please check the calendar before coming.
Visiting Zen Students
The Center welcomes students from other Zen centers that would like to join us for zazen or other events. Please contact the office by email or phone (303-455-1500) before coming. Plan on arriving 30 minutes early to allow time for orientation.