Information for Newcomers

Still Mind Zendo newcomers

Newcomers to Still Mind are most welcome. Whether you are new to Zen or have some Zen experience, you will find a supportive community here to help you deepen your practice of the Way.

If you have never practiced Zen before, we ask that you register for our Introduction to Zen class, offered on select Saturday mornings, usually twice a month (except in July and August).

Newcomers who wish to join us for a class or meditation session will need to register in advance and provide proof of full vaccination and booster; this will only be required before your visit. Please note that without advance registration, entry to our zendo is not possible at this time; we regret that we cannot accept walk-ins.

Visiting our zendo

For those with experience in Zen:
There is no need to attend the Introductory class, you can just register and join us for any sitting period in our schedule. Please read the information below before arriving and register here. You also might like to read our Zen Practice Guidelines.

If you are new to Zen practice: You will need to attend our Introduction to Zen class, offered two Saturdays each month, 10:45 AM-12:15 PM. Please see our calendar page for upcoming dates and be sure to register in advance.


Arrival at zendo:

We ask that you arrive about 20 minutes before the sitting begins. This means arrival at:

  • 6:40 pm on Tuesday and Thursday evening (the preparation gong rings at 6:50pm)
  • 8:40 am on Saturday

We ask that you do this so that someone can welcome you and make you comfortable, show you the physical space, and offer a simple introduction to our particular Zen 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. Our zendo is wheelchair accessible.

Donation for sitting:

We suggest a $10 donation for each sitting for non-members. 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 online 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 $40 for 2 months. Trial membership offers all the benefits of membership, including access to our online audio library of more than 500 dharma talks, discounts on programs, and the ability to have daisan (optional private teaching) with Sensei Marisa or Sensei Jean. (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 or by phone at 212-414-3128. We look forward to meeting you.