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.



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RENEW & RECONNECT QIGONG & MEDITATION RETREAT – Saturday, December 21, 2019 @ 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

The retreat is a combination of Qigong and Sitting & Walking Meditation. No technology. There are scheduled breaks. Email to register. Donations requested.


Sunday, December 22, 2019 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Monday, December 23, 2019 @ 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM

We are meeting monthly in the kitchen at ADZG to work together folding origami cranes to support efforts of 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. No experience is necessary and instructions and paper will be provided.

NEW YEAR’S EVE SITTING TO MIDNIGHT – Tuesday, December 31, 2019 @ 9:00 PM – 11:59 PM

New Year’s Eve Sitting starts with 9 pm service, then zazen interspersed with walking. 108 bells at midnight, followed by traditional Zen New Year’s refreshments. Everyone welcome. Okay to come and go through the evening.




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

Mon 16

Zen Meditation and Dharma talk by Beau Golwitzer

Monday December 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue 17

Meditation and Recovery

Tuesday December 17, 2019 @ 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed 18

Wednesday Morning Zazen

Wednesday December 18, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 am
Wed 18

Hyde Park Zen Group @ Rockefeller Chapel

Wednesday December 18, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:40 pm

Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

Enlightenment Day and Ongoing Care for the Dharma of Suchness

ADZG 770 ADZG Sunday Morning Sesshin Talk by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton

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