Soto Zen Buddhist Meditation in Chicago

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate is a community of practitioners committed to Soto Zen Buddhist meditation practice in Chicago. Please join us on the path of beneficial compassion and wisdom inspired by Shakyamuni Buddha.

Our guiding teacher is Taigen Dan Leighton, author, scholar, and Dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. We invite you to read his teachings or listen to audio recordings of Dharma talks by Taigen and others.

Under the guidance of Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate evolved from a small meditation group that began meeting once weekly in 2003 and now, we offer many meditation and Zen practice opportunities.

On Sunday mornings, we welcome brand new visitors to our temple for orientation and to learn meditation.

We are located at 1922 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago, Illinois. You are welcome to join us for weekly meditation.



Featured News

Saturday, October 26, 2019 @ 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

This retreat is a combination of Qigong and sitting & walking meditation. (You may sit on floor cushions or in a chair.) No technology. There are scheduled breaks. It is designed to allow you to decompress, fully inhabit the body, still the mind and reconnect to your bountiful inner resources.

Email to register. Donations are requested.


Sunday Morning October 27, 2019

Please join us for our annual Segaki ceremony on Sunday, October 27th. All are welcome and and the Segaki ceremony will start at 10:15a following the usual 9:30a zazen. This ceremony includes food offerings on the altar, raising hungry ghosts with percussion instruments, chanting ancient dharani spells to pacify the spirits, and readings of the names of sangha family and friends, and culture figures who have passed away in the last year. During zazen there will be children’s activities in the kitchen (children are more than welcome to sit zazen as well if they choose to), followed by joining the assembly for the ceremony, a discussion, and treats.

You are welcome to bring food offerings or percussion instruments for the ceremony.  To add names of deceased loved ones or friends that you would like read during the ceremony, please contact


Sunday October 27, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  (after tea)
Monday October 28, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (before zazen)
Thursday October 31, 2019 @5:45pm- 6:45 pm (before meetings)

We are meeting monthly on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays in the kitchen at ADZG to work together folding origami cranes to support an Washington DC action in May of 2020 with Japanese-American Buddhists and American Buddhists to bear witness to the internment of migrant and refugee children and families and promote humane and fair treatment of migrants crossing at our southern border.
Please join us for our next community crane folding events or pick up some materials in the kitchen and fold at home.



Monday, November 4, 2019 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Talk by guest teacher Zenshin Florence Caplow, “Ferocious Grandmothers: Stories from The Hidden Lamp to Inspire Us In Hard Times.”  Many of the stories and koans in The Hidden Lamp feature old women who are astonishingly clear and powerful in their expressions of the dharma. What can they teach us about our own lives and practice? A few copies of The Hidden Lamp will be available for purchase by donation.



On Saturday August 3rd, 2019 Ancient Dragon Dharma Teacher Taigen Shizan Leighton completed Dharma transmission ceremonies for his heirs, Nyozan Eric Shutt and Eishin Nancy Easton, and authorized them as Dharma teachers. Shosan Victoria Austin from San Francisco Zen Center served as Preceptor for the ceremony.  As part of the ceremony, Eishin and Nyozan received new brown okesas and ceremonial implements.



Upcoming Events

Wed 23

Hyde Park Zen Group @ Rockefeller Chapel

Wednesday October 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:40 pm
Thu 24
Sat 26

Renew & Reconnect Qigong & Meditation Retreat

Saturday October 26, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Sun 27

Meditation instruction, Zazen, and Segaki Ceremony

Sunday October 27, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 11:30 am
Sun 27

Origami Crane Folding

Sunday October 27, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

Genjokoan-ing Awakening and Delusion

ADZG 749 ADZG Sunday Morning Dharma Talk by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton

Visit us on Facebook

For our very latest news, please like our page on Facebook.

Visit Us on Instagram

To see our latest images, please follow us on Instagram.

Donate when shopping at AmazonSmile!

Every little bit helps!  Amazon will contribute a small percentage of your purchase when choose us,  Ancient Dragon Zen Gate NFP, when you shop at