Zen Center

The Zen Center was established in 2012 to make the teachings and practice of meditation freely accessible to a a diverse population across the North Shore of Boston and regionally throughout New England. After two years in residence at St Andrew's Episcopal Church in Marblehead, we secured a dedicated space for practice in Beverly where we continue to offer ongoing opportunities for the study and practice of Soto Zen Buddhism. The foundation of the Zen Center is built on the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha's teachings. Our primary practice is zazen - just sitting. We sit zazen to express our true nature, bright and awake. We offer a sanctuary to those who wish to find connection, purpose, and equanimity in the midst of our busy, complex human lives.

Under the leadership of Myozen Joan Amaral, a dharma heir in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki of the San Francisco Zen Center, we offer the teachings of Soto Zen, as expressed by Suzuki Roshi and transmitted by Eihei Dogen, back to Shakyamuni Buddha.

Recognizing that it is not so easy to sit with one’s own mind, we engage with other practices to encourage us, and to help us feel the deep support of other practitioners, such as:

  • kinhin – walking meditation

  • service – chanting and bowing (coming out of stillness and silence into our world of activity and sound)

  • dharma talks – offered by a Zen teacher weekly

  • soji – silent, brisk temple cleaning;  working side by side we take care of the temple together

  • classes – an opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue around specific Buddhist teachings; a great way to get to know other practitioners.

The Zen Center also offers specific practice periods (usually 3 months at a time) that include Zen study classes, one-day zazen retreats, and workshops. New and experienced practitioners are warmly welcomed. Our offerings are ongoing, so please feel free to join at any time.