The Heart of Soto Zen Buddhism


The heart of Zen is the practice of generosity, ethics, patience, energetic effort, meditation and wisdom. In times of uncertainty and upheaval it remains the same.


Now more than ever daily zazen and mindful practice throughout the day is exactly what our family, our home, our community and our world needs. Join us 'at home in the zendo' to support the practice of all beings. Schedule


It is essential that we practice social distancing now, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve here and around the world. However, because we cannot all sit together in the zendo does not mean our continued practice of Zen Buddhism must fall away.


During the Pandemic if you wish to begin a home sitting practice or receive an introduction to Zen Buddhist meditation we are here for you. This is by request. We look forward to meeting you. Beginners inquire here


On Sundays you are invited to an outdoor, socially distanced practice of zazen. (This is on hiatus until weather permits in the Spring.)


The Art of Zazen is an excellent article about the form and practice of zazen, written by Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Going back to basics may support you as you establish or continue your home sitting practice.


Scroll down for a recommended reading list. These titles may be available as eBooks or from AmazonSmile, where you can support Ashland Zen Center by shopping at Smile.amazon.com.


If you would like to discuss your budding curiousity about Zen Buddhist practice, we invite you to reach out: priests@ashlandzencenter.org




A Soto Zen Buddhist temple in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi



Welcome to Ashland Zen Center, a refuge for the study and practice of Zen Buddhism.

Ashland Zen Center is located at 740 Tolman Creek Road, next to the ODOT yard. Slow down to find us; our parking lot is marked by a simple pole with the numbers 740.

The teachers, priests and the congregation of Ashland Zen Center practice Soto Zen Buddhism in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the author of “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” This Buddhist tradition stretchers back over two thousand years. People join us from all faith traditions and all walks of life.






When we return from the Covid-19 closure....

Ashland Zen Center has a regular meditation schedule Sunday through Thursday morning and Wednesday night. Wednesday night includes a beginner’s introduction at 6:30 p.m., meditation, and a talk on Buddhism followed by tea. Everyone is welcome. Visit ashlandzencenter.org for details. Sunday includes meditation, service, care of the temple and a potluck breakfast. Classes, retreats and special events are offered throughout the year.

It is also possible to join Ashland Zen Center for half-day, morning practice Monday through Thursday including community breakfast and lunch. Zen emphasizes putting meditative awareness into everyday activities. Maintaining our grounds and garden, caring for our buildings, cooking, ringing the bells for service — these activities all deepen Zen practice. Visit our website for more information, or call (541) 552-1175 to speak to someone about participation.

Discover what Zen Buddhism can mean for you by directly experiencing it for yourself.



Recommended Reading


Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki.

A record of informal talks on Zen meditation and practice given by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki at Haiku Zendo Meditation Center in Los Altos.


Taking the Path of Zen, Robert Aitken.

A guide to Zen training with a thorough introduction to zazen. Topics include correct breathing, posture, routine, attitudes in religious practice, and teacher-student relations, as well as common problems and questions encountered in the process.


Everyday Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck.

An American woman teacher’s practice and exploration of our feelings and our ordinary human relationships. She brings Zen to love and work with selections of edited versions of informal talks recorded during intensive meditation retreats.


Mind of Clover, Robert Aitken.

A discussion of the broad meaning of the precepts, as they apply to and arise from practice in modern society.


Where Ever You Go There You Are, Jon Kabbat-Zinn.

Deceptively simple book on cultivating mindfulness in one’s everyday life. Ideal introduction to meditation in plain, non-technical language.


Returning to Silence: Zen Practice in Daily Life, Dainin Katigiri.

A record of Katigiri Roshi’s talks on zazen practice, the teachings of Buddha, and the meaning of faith.


Zen at Work, Les Kaye.

Les is abbot of Kannon Do and is Harold Sensei’s and Patty Sensei’s teacher. Les relates his experience and insights from the integration of his practice as a Zen monk and teacher, and his work career as an engineer with the IBM Corporation.


Meditation in Action, Chogyam Trungpa.

Talks given by Trungpa concerning meditation as the background of the practice of Buddhist principles. He discusses meditation in the context of transmission, generosity, patience, and wisdom.


Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains, Tenshin Reb Anderson.

A collection of dharma talks by Tenshin Reb Anderson given at Tassajara Zen Center or Green Gulch Farm while serving as abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, from 1986 to 1995.


What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula.

An introductory text on the basic tenets of Buddhism. It concentrates on the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, conditioned arising, and the relevance of meditation in Buddhist practice.



May all beings live in safety and be free from suffering.























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