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Soto Zen Buddhist Meditation in Chicago

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate is a community of practitioners committed to Soto Zen Buddhist meditation practice in Chicago, and now online to many distant practitioners. 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 many others. Sunday mornings we welcome brand new visitors to attend our online zendo to learn meditation before our regular program. Please email info@ancientdragon.org to arrange for meditation instruction.

ANCIENT DRAGON ZEN GATE CLOSED; IN-PERSON AND ONLINE ZEN PROGRAMS CONTINUE

Due to the ongoing pandemic and safety concerns, we made the difficult decision to shut the doors to our temple. The Irving Park Road temple will no longer serve the community as a practice place. Instead, meetings have moved online. Ancient Dragon plans to conduct monthly in-person practice opportunities, with the option of attending through our online zendo. Our many active Ancient Dragon programs will continue to meet through Zoom in our online zendo. Please see our calendar, the Sangha Events section, and the Meditation Events sections of this site for news about upcoming events. In order to address concerns regarding COVID, participants who attend events in person must comply with Ancient Dragon’s ADZG In-Person Event Policy and with any additional requirements contained in the registration form for the event or communicated by the Sangha leader for the event. We look forward to locating a suitable new space for our Chicago temple when safety from the pandemic allows.

While the Ancient Dragon temple is closed, Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton will be available for dokusan by telephone or zoom, as will Dharma Teachers Nyozan Eric Shutt, Eishin Nancy Easton, and Visiting Dharma Teacher Zengyu Paul Discoe. Please send requests for dokusan to our info@ancientdragon.org mailbox. Lay Teacher Douglas Floyd and Practice Leaders Hogetsu Laurie Belzer, Gyoshin Laurel Ross, and Shudo Paula Lazarz also are available for practice interviews and can be reached through info@ancientdragon.org

Finally, our Sangha Care Committee provides and facilitates support for Sangha members and their loved ones. We view caring for our community as an opportunity of mutual benefit, a chance to live out our Bodhisattva precepts and to realize our interconnectedness as beings. Challenging times during which the Sangha Care Committee could be of support include times of illness, grief, or hardship. Examples of support include our Dharma Buddies Program, support during times of illness or hospitalization, and mobilization of sangha resources and mutual aid. Please contact sanghacare@ancientdragon.org to be in touch.


Click the Online Zendo button above to enter our online zendo via ZOOM. Please bow to the camera when entering or becoming visible on Zoom, but then do not face the screen directly during zazen.

Please refer to our calendar for a complete schedule of services and events in our online zendo. As well, please refer to our Online Zendo page for instructions on accessing the room.

Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

The Windbell Practice of Equanimity

Featured Podcasts: Buddhism in Kamakura Japan

Click here to learn more about some recent dharma talks given by our guiding teacher, Taigen Dan Leighton, about key buddhist figures in Kamakura-era Japan.

Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.

Shitou

Song of the Grass Hut

 


Featured Events

FLOWER ORNAMENT SUTRA READING GROUP – Friday, November 5, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

This reading group, open to all, will be reading aloud together the classic expansive and psychedelic Mahayana Buddhist text, Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Ornament Sutra). Participants are not expected to purchase this text and are welcome to drop in for any reading group gathering. Participants will also be invited to sit for optional seated meditation at each gathering. There is no registration or fee to attend, but donations are welcome. Email info@ancientdragon.org with questions.

 HAIKU NATURE WALK – Saturday, November 20, 2021 @ 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Gyoshin Laurel Ross will lead nature walks to introduce people to writing haiku.  All of the walls will be in natural areas and parks on Chicago’s north side. Gyoshin will provide a haiku basic instruction sheet and the location of each meeting place to registered participants. There is no fee for these walks, but contributions to Ancient Dragon are welcomed. Registration is required to limit the group size to 12.  To register, email Gyoshin at laurelmross@gmail.com.

ROHATSU ALL-DAY SITTING LED BY DOUGLAS FLOYD – Sunday, December 5, 2021 @ 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

We will gather to sit in silent meditation in our new rented zendo at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Foster Ave. at Paulina, Chicago, and in Zoomspace. Although partial attendance options are available, you are encouraged to join for the entire day. The All-day sitting and morning Dharma talk will be led by Douglas Floyd, ADZG Lay Teacher and Director. Registration required by November 29, 2021 – click the link above to register. Suggested donation is $75.00, or by self-determined sliding scale – please contribute any amount that works for you.

 

 


Featured News

LOTUS SUTRA CHAPTER 25 STUDY GROUP LED BY SHUDO PAULA LAZARZ

This study group will meet three times, all on Sundays: November 28, December 12, and December 19. The group is limited to 10 people. We will use the Gene Reeves translation of the Lotus Sutra.  The text of Chapter 25 will be provided to those who don’t own the book. Shudo Paula Lazarz will serve as facilitator. Suggested donation is: $50 – sliding scale available upon request. Click here to register.

RECENT BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Highlights from our recent board meeting on October 17 are now available to read here. You can also check out past highlights on our Board Meeting Highlights page.

KAZ TANAHASHI CHICAGO PERFORMANCE

Kaz Tanahashi, zen poet, artist, translator, and good friend of our guiding teacher Taigen Dan Leighton, will participate in the premiere of “A Brush With Our Time”, a multimedia piece in collaboration with Fourth Coast Ensemble, the Chicago-based vocal ensemble, at the Newberry Library on Sunday, September 19. Info and a link to purchase tickets can be found here.

 

 


Check out our Sangha News page to look at older news items previously featured here.

ARCHIVAL TALKS

As Ancient Dragon Zen Gate activates as an online sangha for an undetermined amount of time, we will be providing selections of podcasts to all on a periodic basis to provide dharma steadily. Please refer to our Archival Talks page for past collections and commentary on the collections of talks, including the current collection which is focused on talks involving race by black women.
 

Sangha Calendar

Tue 26

Meditation and Recovery Online

Tuesday October 26, 2021 @ 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed 27

Wednesday Morning Online Zazen with Gerrie Griffin

Wednesday October 27, 2021 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 am
Thu 28

Thursday Morning Online Zazen with Hogetsu Laurie Belzer

Thursday October 28, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Thu 28

Beginner’s Mind Zazen & Discussion Online

Thursday October 28, 2021 @ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri 29

Meditation in Decolonizing Consciousness

Friday October 29, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am

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 smile.amazon.com/ch/41-2219998.


 

Click the Online Zendo button above to enter our online zendo via ZOOM. Please bow to the camera when entering or becoming visible on Zoom, but then do not face the screen directly during zazen.

Please refer to our calendar for a complete schedule of services and events in our online zendo. As well, please refer to our Online Zendo page for instructions on accessing the room.

ANCIENT DRAGON ZEN GATE CLOSED; IN-PERSON AND ONLINE ZEN PROGRAMS CONTINUE

Due to the ongoing pandemic and safety concerns, we made the difficult decision to shut the doors to our temple. The Irving Park Road temple will no longer serve the community as a practice place. Instead, meetings have moved online. Ancient Dragon plans to conduct monthly in-person practice opportunities, with the option of attending through our online zendo. Our many active Ancient Dragon programs will continue to meet through Zoom in our online zendo. Please see our calendar, the Sangha Events section, and the Meditation Events sections of this site for news about upcoming events. In order to address concerns regarding COVID, participants who attend events in person must comply with Ancient Dragon’s ADZG In-Person Event Policy and with any additional requirements contained in the registration form for the event or communicated by the Sangha leader for the event. We look forward to locating a suitable new space for our Chicago temple when safety from the pandemic allows.

While the Ancient Dragon temple is closed, Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton will be available for dokusan by telephone or zoom, as will Dharma Teachers Nyozan Eric Shutt, Eishin Nancy Easton, and Visiting Dharma Teacher Zengyu Paul Discoe. Please send requests for dokusan to our info@ancientdragon.org mailbox. Lay Teacher Douglas Floyd and Practice Leaders Hogetsu Laurie Belzer, Gyoshin Laurel Ross, and Shudo Paula Lazarz also are available for practice interviews and can be reached through info@ancientdragon.org

Finally, our Sangha Care Committee provides and facilitates support for Sangha members and their loved ones. We view caring for our community as an opportunity of mutual benefit, a chance to live out our Bodhisattva precepts and to realize our interconnectedness as beings. Challenging times during which the Sangha Care Committee could be of support include times of illness, grief, or hardship. Examples of support include our Dharma Buddies Program, support during times of illness or hospitalization, and mobilization of sangha resources and mutual aid. Please contact sanghacare@ancientdragon.org to be in touch.


Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

The Windbell Practice of Equanimity

Featured Podcasts: Buddhism in Kamakura Japan

Click here to learn more about some recent dharma talks given by our guiding teacher, Taigen Dan Leighton, about key buddhist figures in Kamakura-era Japan.

 


Featured Events

FLOWER ORNAMENT SUTRA READING GROUP – Friday, November 5, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

This reading group, open to all, will be reading aloud together the classic expansive and psychedelic Mahayana Buddhist text, Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Ornament Sutra). Participants are not expected to purchase this text and are welcome to drop in for any reading group gathering. Participants will also be invited to sit for optional seated meditation at each gathering. There is no registration or fee to attend, but donations are welcome. Email info@ancientdragon.org with questions.

 HAIKU NATURE WALK – Saturday, November 20, 2021 @ 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Gyoshin Laurel Ross will lead nature walks to introduce people to writing haiku.  All of the walls will be in natural areas and parks on Chicago’s north side. Gyoshin will provide a haiku basic instruction sheet and the location of each meeting place to registered participants. There is no fee for these walks, but contributions to Ancient Dragon are welcomed. Registration is required to limit the group size to 12.  To register, email Gyoshin at laurelmross@gmail.com.

ROHATSU ALL-DAY SITTING LED BY DOUGLAS FLOYD – Sunday, December 5, 2021 @ 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

We will gather to sit in silent meditation in our new rented zendo at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Foster Ave. at Paulina, Chicago, and in Zoomspace. Although partial attendance options are available, you are encouraged to join for the entire day. The All-day sitting and morning Dharma talk will be led by Douglas Floyd, ADZG Lay Teacher and Director. Registration required by November 29, 2021 – click the link above to register. Suggested donation is $75.00, or by self-determined sliding scale – please contribute any amount that works for you.

 

 


Featured News

LOTUS SUTRA CHAPTER 25 STUDY GROUP LED BY SHUDO PAULA LAZARZ

This study group will meet three times, all on Sundays: November 28, December 12, and December 19. The group is limited to 10 people. We will use the Gene Reeves translation of the Lotus Sutra.  The text of Chapter 25 will be provided to those who don’t own the book. Shudo Paula Lazarz will serve as facilitator. Suggested donation is: $50 – sliding scale available upon request. Click here to register.

RECENT BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Highlights from our recent board meeting on October 17 are now available to read here. You can also check out past highlights on our Board Meeting Highlights page.

KAZ TANAHASHI CHICAGO PERFORMANCE

Kaz Tanahashi, zen poet, artist, translator, and good friend of our guiding teacher Taigen Dan Leighton, will participate in the premiere of “A Brush With Our Time”, a multimedia piece in collaboration with Fourth Coast Ensemble, the Chicago-based vocal ensemble, at the Newberry Library on Sunday, September 19. Info and a link to purchase tickets can be found here.

 

 


Check out our Sangha News page to look at older news items previously featured here.

Sangha Calendar

Tue 26

Meditation and Recovery Online

Tuesday October 26, 2021 @ 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed 27

Wednesday Morning Online Zazen with Gerrie Griffin

Wednesday October 27, 2021 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 am
Thu 28

Thursday Morning Online Zazen with Hogetsu Laurie Belzer

Thursday October 28, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Thu 28

Beginner’s Mind Zazen & Discussion Online

Thursday October 28, 2021 @ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri 29

Meditation in Decolonizing Consciousness

Friday October 29, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am

ARCHIVAL TALKS

As Ancient Dragon Zen Gate activates as an online sangha for an undetermined amount of time, we will be providing selections of podcasts to all on a periodic basis to provide dharma steadily. Please refer to our Archival Talks page for past collections and commentary on the collections of talks, including the current collection which is focused on talks involving race by black women.
 

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 smile.amazon.com/ch/41-2219998.