About Still Mind Zendo

Still Mind Zendo, a Zen meditation center in New York City formed in 1994, is in the lineage of Zen Master Taizan Maezumi Roshi and the White Plum Asanga. Our founder and guiding teacher, Sensei Janet Jiryu Abels, is a dharma successor to Roshi Robert Jinsen Kennedy, as is Sensei Gregory Hosho Abels, the other teacher at Still Mind Zendo. Experienced and new Zen practitioners are welcome at our New York City Zendo, as are visitors to the City who practice Zen.

Still Mind Zendo emphasizes the practice of zazen (sitting meditation) above all else, recognizing it as a way for people to deepen their insight and realization of their essential self, which is nothing other than the realization of their lives. And because essential self, or essential nature, is not bound by the limitations of any religion or gender or path in life — not bound, in fact, by anything — we welcome people from all walks of life and from all religious or non-religious backgrounds to sit with us, practicing the development of a still mind as the necessary path to awakening.

Our singular commitment to zazen practice makes our sangha (community) a simple one. Apart from upholding the tradition of the basic Zen chants, we hold no services or other rituals, and we do not wear robes. We are, however, deeply committed to the teachings of the ancestors; to the discipline of the Way; to the attention to posture and detail; to the practice of being in the moment; and to the extension of that practice into every facet of our lives. Because the teachers sit with us on a full-time basis, weekly Dharma talks are given, and daisan (face-to-face teaching) is available. Daisan offers guidance in both zazen (just sitting) and koan study.

Understanding how daunting Zen can often be to beginners, we offer simple, practical, accessible instruction. Understanding how difficult is the continuation of practice, we offer strong challenge within a nurturing atmosphere. Understanding how fractured and out of control our lives can be at times, we offer a solid structure and the support of caring and like-minded people to help us re-orient ourselves to the reality of our essential self, and so take charge of our lives.

We invite you to join us.

Still Mind Zendo is a not-for-profit organization registered in the State of New York and run by a Board of Directors made up of members of the sangha. An annual Sangha Meeting allows members to be included in the process.