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Sesshins held at ZCLA in 2014.

Save the Date!

  Sunday, December 21

Celebrating Sensei Shingetsu

10:15 am

See info below





Residential Training Opportunity

Resident training offers Zen students the opportunity to deepen their practice by living with a resident teacher and a community of practitioners. Residents combine Zen training with family and careers, engage in shared stewardship, and explore the dynamic life of Sangha. Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA) has two apartment buildings for its Residential Training Program.   Applicants with either a little or a lot of experience as a Zen student may apply. Before the application process begins, prospective residents are asked to complete the introductory Zen practice classes, ZP1 through ZP3. The Buddha Hand Circle (BHC) oversees the application and admission process. Interested parties can contact Betsy Enduring-Vow Brown via Senshin, the ZCLA Program Steward at info@zcla.orgfor information and requirements. We currently have one studio apartment available.


Last Founder's Service of the Year

Saturday, December 20, 8:30 a.m.

Come show your gratitude to our Founders.  All welcome.


Day of Reflection on Precept #8: The Practice of Not Being Stingy

Saturday, December 20, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Led by Tara Jiho Sterling

Every third Saturday is devoted to the Zen Bodhisattva Precepts. The day begins with a recitation of the precepts and includes zazen and face-to-face meetings with our teachers, a brief precept talk, and a precept circle. Open to everyone. For precise schedule click here.


Celebrating Sensei Shingetsu

Sunday, December 21 10:15 a.m.

Beloved teacher, Sensei Patricia Shingetsu Guzy has announced her retirement from formal teaching at ZCLA, effective at the end of this year. She will be devoting her time and energies to the thriving Valley Sangha, which she began 23 years ago in her home, and shifting into a more spacious phase in her life. Sensei began practice at ZCLA in 1989 under the guidance of Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, practicing steadily and with great heart through Zen Center's many transitional phases. Fifteen years ago, Sensei received priest ordination from Roshi Egyoku. In 2006, she became a full priest and, in 2009, she received Dharma Transmission. Please join us in honoring Sensei Shingetsu for her many years of spiritual friendship and contributions to our Sangha. 


2014 MuGon End-of-Year Reflection Retreat

Saturday, Dec. 27 (eve.) - Tuesday, Dec. 30

Led by Roshi Egyoku

MuGon means “No Words.” During this sesshin, the Great Silence of No Words is the teacher. The schedule is spare: Just Zazen, Just Walking, Just Eating, Just Working, Just Resting - breath by breath, step by step, bite by bite, moment by moment. We will look directly at the conditioned mind and taste the freedom of forgetting the self. A wonderful opportunity to empty out and go deep as we end the year.

There will be one-Bowl style meals, not Oryoki-style.  Absolute Deadline to register: Wednesday, December 17. We are requesting payment by that time.

A fee of $25 will be added after Wednesday, December 17, for any schedule changes or dropping out (with rare emergency exceptions). Housing is limited and not guaranteed. First come, first served.

for fee structure click here.

for application click here.

for tentative schedule click here.


New Year's Eve Events

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Please join us for some or all of these events to mark the end of 2013. An rsvp to is greatly appreciated. 

2:00-4:00 p.m.          Sangha Year-End Council -- Dharma Hall

4-4:25 p.m.                Sangha Members Annual Memorial Service -- Buddha Hall    

4:30 p.m.                    Informal supper -- Sangha House

6:00 p.m.                    Purification -- Zendo

6:10 p.m.                    Be in your seat

6:15 p.m.                    Atonement Ceremony

7:45 p.m.                    Ringing of 108 bells  & Zazen Fire Ceremony

8:15-8:45 p.m.          New Years Revolving the Sutras Service -- Buddha Hall    

9:00                             Celebratory cake & cider toast for the New Year – Sangha House

9:30                             End

For a copy of this schedule, click here.



Annual Appeal


Dear Friends and Sangha Members,

I wish to share with you the highlights of the Zen Center's year and ask for your generous support of the 2014 Annual Fund.  My heart is full as I think about how far the Zen Center has come in the last ten years. We are offering programs and accomplishing things that would have been impossible a decade ago. We have created a lively Zen training community, vastly improved our buildings and grounds, and established a strong and stable infrastructure for our organization.









In August we held a Sangha Celebration honoring the many hours of service given by our Sangha members. We especially honored 20 Sangha Guardians for their 14 years of continuous and consistent service to the Zen Center. I have been reflecting with gratitude on all the care, time, and support that you - and the numerous people who have come through our temple gates - have so generously given to ensure that the Zen Center continues to thrive.

This year the Zen Center's board, staff, and I mapped out a Strategic Five Year Plan that will guide us into the future, ensuring that the Zen Center continues to be a vibrant, stable container of practice to serve others for years to come. 


Raising a healthy Annual Fund is essential for supporting the  Zen Center's foundational Dharma offerings: zazen in the zendo, sutra chanting and memorial services in the Buddha Hall, personal guidance from our teachers, monthly zazenkai, six sesshin, a 90-day Practice Period, weekly Dharma talks, numerous workshops and classes, council practice, and shared stewardship training throughout the year.


In addition to sustaining these foundational offerings, this year ZCLA affected the larger community in other important ways:

We hosted a workshop led by Roshi Bernie Glassman on Zen and Social Action. Roshi Bernie and I worked together to recreate the Zen Peacemaker Order with the help of other ZPO founding teachers in Europe and the United States. The Zen Center is a member of the Zen Peacemaker Order, and we look forward to expanding our socially engaged activities in the future.

We offered a Green Order Retreat led by Zen priest James Soshin Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth. Using Soshin's "Green Manifesto" as its guiding document, the retreat
participants began to lay the foundation for spiritually-based environmental work that
addresses the important environmental challenges of our day.

A few Sangha members participated in the Zen Peacemaker Community's Bearing Witness Retreat in Rwanda on the 20th 

anniversary of the genocide. I served as one of the retreat 

council facilitators and, upon my return, spoke and wrote about the process of forgiveness based on the events that unfolded during the retreat.


We convened a Lay Path Mitra (Friend) Group for serious, long-term Zen students whose primary calling is to serve the secular world through their diverse vocations.  The spheres of engagement include prison chaplaincy, socially engaged business, training in non-violence for youth at risk, education, theater, environmental work, and the practice of council in prisons and the non-profit spheres. 


We sponsored a lively workshop based on the landmark book "The Hidden Lamp: Stories of

Twenty-five Centuries of Awakened 

Women" (Wisdom Publications). This important collection features one hundred koans and stories of Buddhist women from the time of the Buddha to the present day, each accompanied by a refl ection by a contemporary woman teacher, such as my successor Sensei Merle Kodo Boyd. I am a contributing author to this book, as well as to "Seeds of Virtue, Seeds of Change: A Collection of Zen Teachings" (Temple Ground Press), featuring writings by contemporary Soto Zen women teachers.


Every day, I keep in my heart the Zen Center's vision of a world free of suffering, in which all beings live in harmony, where everyone has enough, deep wisdom is realized and compassion  flows unhindered. I have committed my life's work to this vision and ask that you join me in supporting it by giving generously to the Zen Center Annual Fund. 

Our goal for this year's Annual Fund is $65,000, which is the minimum amount needed to ensure that every person - both those afar and those who make their way to our gates - can benefi t from the teachings of the Buddha, which have brought so many of us the peace and joy that comes from walking this path. To reach this goal, we are asking for 100 percent participation from all who have been served by the Zen Center. I ask that you give as generously as you are able and that everyone make a contribution. 


Please take a few minutes right now to send in your contribution so that the light from our community will continue to shine throughout the world.

Prajna Paramita,


Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao



Ways to give:



To donate now with a credit/debit card, Click Here


Mail a check marked Annual Fund 2014 to:

ZCLA, 923 S. Normandie Ave, Los Angeles, CA  90006

Place cash or checks in the donation box located in the Sangha House



Save the Date - 2015

THROUGH THE GATE OF SWEET NECTAR:  Learning the Heart Liturgy of Feeding the Hungry Spirits

Saturday, April 25 & Sunday, April 26, 2015

Led by Roshi Bernie Glassman & Roshi Egyoku

Details TBD.  If interested, please email


Thank you!

Thank you to Enduring-Vow and Peace Over Violence for bringing Marie Misukyo and Obed Musimbwa from the DR Congo based SOFIBEF to ZCLA to share their inspiring work.  If you'd like to support their visit to the U.S. and the work they do to end the violence against women, please go to our donation page or send in a check to ZCLA and mark it SOFIBEF.  Thank you!



May All Beings Be Well.





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