There is no greater friendship than spiritual friendship.
This friendship transcends time, situation, and person.
We are on a common journey where the intention is remembering.
Remembering being together inseparably.
Zen Master Dae Gak
The Cincinnati Zen Center provides the support of community to those inquiring directly into the matter of this life. The intent of our practice is that all beings may be free of suffering.
The CZC was founded by Fran Turner in 1994 as part of the Furnace Mountain Sangha, a Zen community under the direction of Guiding Teacher Zen Master Dae Gak. Myo Wol Soen-sa has been Resident Teacher of the CZC since 2008.
We are excited to announce our reopening at our new central location in the Elmwood Place neighborhood. We are equally committed to supporting both our in-person and virtual communities going forward.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization solely supported by donations, event fees, and the generosity and energy of community.
Thank you for your interest in the practice of the Dharma. May our direction and efforts be of benefit.
Sundays at 7:15 am and 9 am
Mondays at 7 pm
Thursdays at 7 pm
6015 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45216
We observe social distancing with placement of meditation cushions and chairs in the Dharma Hall. Masks are optional for those seeking greater safety.
Wednesdays at 6:30 pm EST
Saturdays at 8:30 am EST
Email us (info[at]cincinnatizencenter.org) or see our Facebook page for Zoom login details .
Virtual practice is also offered Monday through Friday at 7 am through Furnace Mountain Retreat Center. See their Schedule for details on this and other Furnace Mountain events.
In addition to the weekly practice sessions listed above, join us for Intro Workshops, Day-long retreats, Weekend Retreats, Zen Reading Group, and Yoga for Meditators class.
Resident Teacher Myo Wol Soen-sa also offers Dharma Talks and Dokusan (individual meetings) during regular practice sessions once a month.
Thu 1 - Dharma Talk at 7 pm
Fri 2 - Day of Sitting, 8 am to 3:30 pm (open practice periods from 8 to 10, 10:30 to 12:30, 1:30 to 3:30)
Sat 3 - Dharma Talk at 8:30 (virtual)
Sun 4 - Dharma Talk at 7:15 am and 9 am
Tue 6 - Yoga for Meditators, 6 to 7:30 pm
Tue 13 - Life Study, 6:30 to 8 pm
Thu 15 - Dokusan (1:1 meetings) at 7 pm
Sat 17 - Dokusan at 8:30 (virtual)
Sat 17 - Yoga for Meditators, 10:30 am to Noon
Sat 17 - Zen & Tea Ceremony, 1 to 3 pm
Sun 18 - Dokusan at 7:15 am and 9 am
Tue 20 - Zen Reading Group, 6:30 - 7:30 pm (virtual)
Sat 24 - Furnace Mountain Virtual Day-Long Retreat - CHECK BACK TO REGISTER
Sat 24 - Intro to Zen Workshop, 1 to 4 pm - CHECK BACK TO REGISTER
Zen simply translates as "meditation."
Zen is a non-doctrinal practice of inquiry that arose within Buddhism, sometimes described as the direct mind-to-mind transmission outside of scripture and word.
Zen is a practice of looking into the matter of our lives directly, of investigating the fundamental questions that arise from our sentience:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my correct role in this troubled world?
In keeping these questions alive without constraining them in tidy answers or taking the words of others, we awaken to seeing things as the change and flux that they truly are.
In this openness appears our original nature, which is compassionate, committed to alleviating suffering for all beings.
To study Zen is to take up this practice within a community and with a teacher who traces his or her lineage back to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni 2500 years ago.
We practice Sitting, Walking, and Chanting meditation.
Sitting is the activity of stillness, of looking directly into the nature of the mind. We sit for periods of 30 minutes. There are many postures appropriate for sitting practice—including kneeling on cushions or using a chair—so discomfort can be minimized.
Walking offers the opportunity to take the mind of practice into motion and movement, bridging the gap that can arise between experience on and off the cushion.
Chanting is a practice consistent worldwide among contemplative traditions. When we chant, the singular voice interacts and merges with the group voice. Chant sheets are provided.
Our meditation sessions consist of opening with Chanting, then Sitting for two periods of 30-minutes each with a Walking period in between.
Please arrive ten minutes early, since we lock the doors to maintain privacy and security promptly at the start times.
Although dress is casual and comfortable, clothing is an element and expression of the meditation experience. Subdued colors are most supportive of practice.
Please don't let unfamiliarity with meditation forms be a reason for not investigating Zen. Participants at ALL levels of experience are always welcome.
First and foremost, welcome!
Our intention is that you feel invited and included, and that much of the mystery that is perceived to be part of this practice is set aside.
Feel free to just show up for any of our regular sitting periods. Come 15 minutes early, let someone know it is your first time, and you will receive a brief orientation to our forms.
If you seek a more in-depth orientation, join us for one of our Intro to Zen workshops.
As part of our orientation, you will be shown a variety of postures, including sitting or kneeling using cushions or a bench or chair. All of these postures support sitting upright and still, while offering options so that discomfort can be minimized.
If you plan to visit as part of a school project, please contact us beforehand so we may plan to be available to answer your class-related questions. Special arrangements should be made to accommodate 3 or more students.
Representatives of the CZC are also available to speak onsite to classes and organizations.
Zen Master Dae Gak, Guiding Teacher
"Find your original job and do it impeccably. Never give up. While failure is possible, there is nothing that cannot be transmuted. Our mistakes are our teachers and our alchemy is in our heart’s blood. Our breath is our point of entry to truth. It is with us always, as us, as all of creation. Find the breath in everything."
Zen Master Dae Gak is the Founder, Abbot, and Guiding Teacher of Furnace Mountain and its affiliate centers. He received Inka (permission to teach) in 1986 and final Dharma transmission from Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1994.
He has directed his life toward supporting others to realize their original nature of fearless immediacy and unbounded compassion, following the clear teaching of the Zen Ancestors, and his own realization that the practice of spiritual inquiry cannot be fixed, organized, or institutionalized.
Myo Wol Soen-sa, Resident Teacher
"Our practice of sitting quiet and still is the most mundane of human activities, and yet is difficult, beautiful, and beyond understanding. It is life itself, apparent and available as direct experience, everywhere, always. Awakening to this is the greatest gift we can offer ourselves, each other, and this troubled world."
Myo Wol Soen-sa (Mark Delmar Davis) is a lay-practitioner, a married father of three grown sons, working as a wellness coach, entrepreneur, and musician.
He has studied with Zen Master Dae Gak since the inception of the CZC in 1994. In 2008 he received Inka, becoming Resident Teacher. His interest is the activity of manifesting original nature right in the midst of the challenge, heartbreak, and unbounded joy of daily life.
Dana is the Buddhist practice of generosity, appreciation, and contribution.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization solely supported by the generosity of its community.
We gratefully accept donations in any amount, as well as contributions of time, energy, and talent. We also fully appreciate that people have different life circumstances, and we welcome anyone regardless of ability to pay.
All donations can be either one-time or monthly sustaining contributions.
Cincinnati Zen Center, 6015 Vine Street, Cincinnati OH 45216
© 2021 Cincinnati Zen Center. All Rights Reserved.