Information for Newcomers
We extend a warm welcome to all newcomers to our zendo, whether you are new to Zen or have had some experience in Zen practice. We know you will find a supportive community at Still Mind to help you deepen your practice of the Way, and we offer helpful teaching if you’re exploring Zen for the first time. We especially welcome visitors to New York City and invite you to sit with us whenever your schedule allows. Our schedule, location, and other information can be found elsewhere on this website.
Introduction to Zen:
If you are new to Zen, even if you have done other forms of meditation, or if you would like a refresher, we offer an introductory class on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month (except August) from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Please see our Introduction to Zen page for further information.
For those with experience in Zen:
If you’ve had some experience in Zen practice and do not need the Introductory class, please just come and join us for any sitting period in our schedule. Here are just a few points to keep in mind before your first visit:
Arrival at zendo:
There is no need to call ahead before your first visit, but we ask that you arrive about 20 minutes before our sittings begin. This means arrival at:
- 6:30 pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (the preparation gong rings at 6:50pm)
- 8:35 am on Saturdays
- 7:15 am on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings
We ask that you do this in order to have time for someone to welcome you and make you comfortable, show you the physical space, and offer a simple introduction to our particular forms, since each sangha operates slightly differently. You will also have time to ask questions.
Our building on 17th St. has a buzzer system for entrance. Please scroll down on the keypad next to the double doors. When ‘Still Mind Zendo’ appears on the screen, it will instruct you to press 600 on the keypad. After you do, you will hear the telephone ring and a member of SMZ will answer. Please let them know who you are and they will buzz you right up.
What to wear or bring:
We have zafus, seiza benches, and chairs for your use so no need to bring your own. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. We do not use robes at Still Mind so we ask that attire be suitably respectful. Please do not wear shorts of any length or skimpy tops in the zendo, and please refrain from wearing clothing that contains texts, logos, designs, or cartoons, which may be distracting to others. There is a changing room at the zendo for your convenience in the event you are coming from work or if you wish to wear shorts to the zendo on hot days. We are wheelchair accessible.
Donation for sitting:
We suggest a $5 donation for each sitting for non-members and, since our donation box is on the honor system, we ask for, and are grateful for, your particular attention to this matter each time you sit with us. Our high commercial rent and the upkeep of our zendo are major expenses for us. You can also donate to Still Mind Zendo.
After your visit, if you wish to continue sitting with us, even for only a while, you are invited to become a Trial Member at $25 for 2 months. Trial membership offers all the benefits of membership, including access to our online audio library of over 500 dharma talks, discounts on programs, and especially, the ability to have daisan (private teaching) with Sensei Gregory, Sensei Marisa, or Dharma holder Jean Gallagher (teacher in training). Roshi Janet is not seeing new people at this time.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us through email at email@example.com or by phone at 212-414-3128. We look forward to meeting you.