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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LGBTQ+ DHARMA GROUP – Friday, January 24, 2020 @ 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Group meetings begin with 30 minutes of group zazen followed by tea, snacks, and discussion of a previously circulated Buddhist text or article relevant to the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community and their intersection with Buddhist practice. For more information, email



RENEW AND RECONNECT QIGONG & MEDITATION RETREAT – Saturday, January 25, 2020 @ 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.


CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION – Sunday, January 26, 2020 @ 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

This morning’s program will include a Children’s event and our special Chinese New Year ceremony led by Eishin Nancy Easton. This will include a Children’s event. During zazen there will be children’s activities available in the kitchen, then children will join in walking meditation and the celebration of Chinese New Year in the zendo, this year for the Year of the Rat. Afterwards we will have informal discussion and treats in the zendo. Everyone welcome. Click the event link for more details.


Sun 1/26/20       12-1pm (after tea)
Mon 1/27/20      6-7pm (before zazen)
Thurs 1/30/20    5:45p-6:45p (before zazen)

All are welcome and no experience is necessary! 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 current internment of migrant and refugee children and families and promote humane and fair treatment of migrants crossing at our southern border. Our crane banners that will travel to an action in Washington DC in June 2020.  Instructions and paper will be provided. You are also welcome to fold cranes on your own and drop them off at the temple.


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

Thu 23
Fri 24

LGBTQ+ Dharma Group

Friday January 24, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sat 25

Renew & Reconnect Qigong & Meditation Retreat

Saturday January 25, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Sun 26

Origami Crane Folding

Sunday January 26, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

Myo-e’s Dream Journal and Imagination in Buddhism

ADZG 778 ADZG Monday Night Dharma Talk by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton    

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