About Brooklyn Zen Center

Brooklyn Zen Center’s vision combines a deep respect for our Zen Buddhist tradition with an aim to respond to our New York community and the world as it is today. Zen has always valued a spirit of mindful spontaneity and creativity in its cultivation of compassion and wisdom. In this spirit, Brooklyn Zen Center engages and changes with our immediate environment and world from a place of receptivity and wholeness.

All programs at Brooklyn Zen Center are developed with the primary concern of liberation from suffering in mind. Though our efforts are fundamentally focused on the self-addicted mental habits that ultimately cause human suffering, our intention is also to address this suffering as it manifests as broader social concerns.

Our hearts and minds can only fully awaken together with others. Centered in this truth, we allow our meditative practice to support us and the world as we address socially, politically, economically, and religiously-conditioned suffering and injustice. In doing so, we believe that we not only honor the Buddha’s request to attend to the suffering of the world, but also that this meeting of hearts deepens our understanding of our own ethical path.

Brooklyn Zen Center’s Awake Youth Project is very much an extension of this commitment. In bringing meditation and mindfulness to students in Brooklyn, we are hoping to provide the tools that underpin emotional resilience and wise decision making within an environment where a broader social and historical violence has made it very difficult to thrive. Our hope is that our shared children are able to deepen a meditation practice that allows them to flourish within these extraordinarily difficult contexts.

Through this program and others we look forward to meeting the world in this multifaceted way so that our Zen Buddhist practice can continue to manifest as boundless compassion and love in this ever-changing world. We believe that our spiritual paths are most honored when we share them openly and allow for an appropriate response to the world moment as it is.