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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 Lincoln Square Zendo in person, or in our Online Zendo via Zoom to learn meditation before our regular program. Click our “New to Zen?” button above for more information.

LINCOLN SQUARE ZENDO OPEN FOR IN-PERSON DHARMA EVENTS

Starting Sunday, November 6, 2022, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate began holding in-person dharma events, and recurring weekly Sunday morning and Monday evening programs at our new Lincoln Square Zendo, located at 2255 W Giddings Street – 1st Floor (backdoor entry) in Chicago. Please enter the building through the backdoor. Instructions for getting to the Lincoln Square zendo and current COVID Policy can be viewed by clicking hereProof of vaccination and masking will continue to be required at in-person dharma events, with N95 masks encouraged, and sangha members will also be able to attended remotely via Zoom.  Please see our Calendar, Sangha Events , and Meditation Events sections of this site for news about upcoming events.

Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton will be available for dokusan by in person, by telephone or zoom, as will Dharma Teachers Nyozan Eric Shutt, Eishin Nancy Easton, Hogetsu Laurie Belzer, 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 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

A Requiem for Pete: Death, Grief, and Peace of Mind

ADZG 1062 ADZG Monday Night Dharma Talk by Alex Bernstein

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, February 3, 2023 @ 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.

ZAZEN AND DHARMA TALK BY ZENSHIN FLORENCE CAPLOW: COURAGE AND PRACTICE – Sunday, February 5, 2023 @ 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Dharma talk by Zenshin Florence Caplow, Teacher and priest in Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage, and longtime friend of Ancient Dragon. Sunday Morning Public Program at Lincoln Square Zendo and in our online Zendo via ZOOM. 

ALL-DAY MEDITATION RETREAT WITH HOGETSU LAURIE BELZER: CELEBRATING ZAZEN – Sunday, February 12, 2023 @ 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

 

All-day sitting led by Hogetsu Laurie Belzer. Both in-person (full day only) and online-only participation (partial or fullday) are available. If you register for in-person attendance, please plan to attend the entire day.  Partial attendance is welcome and available online only.  The morning dharma talk is open to the public. Please register in advance by Monday February 6, 2023 using the form on the event page. $75 is the suggested donation and donation is a self-determined sliding scale, so please offer what you can afford when you register.   Everyone is welcome to attend.

Featured News

joannamacyTHE WORK THAT RECONNECTS WORKSHOP

Matt Streit, a priest-in-training at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center and sangha member of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, will facilitate an online “Work That Reconnects” workshop on Saturday, March 18th. The “Work That Reconnects” was founded by Joanna Macy and her group of volunteers to help people deal with anxiety, despair, and overwhelm when facing our world’s environmental crisis.  This online workshop will be interactive and participants will engage with others and activities focusing on gratitude, honoring our pain, seeing with new eyes, and going forth. Suggested donation is $50, but all our events are sliding scale for everyone. All proceeds of this benefit event will go to the Ancient Dragon Building Fund. Please see the event link for more information and to register for this workshop.

RECENT BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS POSTED

Highlights from Ancient Dragon’s board meeting on December 18 are now available for viewing on our Board Meeting Highlights page.

SANGHA POTLUCK FOR DOUGLAS FLOYD

All Dragons are invited to attend a celebratory potluck lunch at our Lincoln Square zendo on Sunday, February 26, following our sangha meeting.  We will gather to share food and to express our gratitude to Douglas Floyd for the many contributions that he has made to our sangha, as he steps down from his position as Director and also from the Board, which he has led as President for many years. We will also welcome our new leaders Wade and Alex. Click here to see the event link for more information about the day as well as to sign up to bring food for the event.


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 Ruth Ozeki, who just released a new book entitled The Book of Form and Emptiness and who will be speaking at Ancient Dragon on June 24.
 
Ruth Ozeki  (11/05/2016) –  Writing Process and Tales of Time Being
Ruth Ozeki  (11/06/2016) –  Arrays of Self Amid Time Beings
Taigen Leighton (8/29/2010) – Zen Time and Its Practice

Upcoming Events

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.

LINCOLN SQUARE ZENDO OPEN FOR IN-PERSON DHARMA EVENTS

Starting Sunday, November 6, 2022, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate began holding in-person dharma events, and recurring weekly Sunday morning and Monday evening programs at our new Lincoln Square Zendo, located at 2255 W Giddings Street – 1st Floor (backdoor entry) in Chicago. Please enter the building through the backdoor. Instructions for getting to the Lincoln Square zendo and current COVID Policy can be viewed by clicking hereProof of vaccination and masking will continue to be required at in-person dharma events, with N95 masks encouraged, and sangha members will also be able to attended remotely via Zoom.  Please see our Calendar, Sangha Events , and Meditation Events sections of this site for news about upcoming events.

Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton will be available for dokusan by in person, by telephone or zoom, as will Dharma Teachers Nyozan Eric Shutt, Eishin Nancy Easton, Hogetsu Laurie Belzer, 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 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

A Requiem for Pete: Death, Grief, and Peace of Mind

ADZG 1062 ADZG Monday Night Dharma Talk by Alex Bernstein

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, February 3, 2023 @ 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.

ZAZEN AND DHARMA TALK BY ZENSHIN FLORENCE CAPLOW: COURAGE AND PRACTICE – Sunday, February 5, 2023 @ 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Dharma talk by Zenshin Florence Caplow, Teacher and priest in Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage, and longtime friend of Ancient Dragon. Sunday Morning Public Program at Lincoln Square Zendo and in our online Zendo via ZOOM. 

ALL-DAY MEDITATION RETREAT WITH HOGETSU LAURIE BELZER: CELEBRATING ZAZEN – Sunday, February 12, 2023 @ 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

 

All-day sitting led by Hogetsu Laurie Belzer. Both in-person (full day only) and online-only participation (partial or fullday) are available. If you register for in-person attendance, please plan to attend the entire day.  Partial attendance is welcome and available online only.  The morning dharma talk is open to the public. Please register in advance by Monday February 6, 2023 using the form on the event page. $75 is the suggested donation and donation is a self-determined sliding scale, so please offer what you can afford when you register.   Everyone is welcome to attend.

Featured News

joannamacyTHE WORK THAT RECONNECTS WORKSHOP

Matt Streit, a priest-in-training at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center and sangha member of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, will facilitate an online “Work That Reconnects” workshop on Saturday, March 18th. The “Work That Reconnects” was founded by Joanna Macy and her group of volunteers to help people deal with anxiety, despair, and overwhelm when facing our world’s environmental crisis.  This online workshop will be interactive and participants will engage with others and activities focusing on gratitude, honoring our pain, seeing with new eyes, and going forth. Suggested donation is $50, but all our events are sliding scale for everyone. All proceeds of this benefit event will go to the Ancient Dragon Building Fund. Please see the event link for more information and to register for this workshop.

RECENT BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS POSTED

Highlights from Ancient Dragon’s board meeting on December 18 are now available for viewing on our Board Meeting Highlights page.

SANGHA POTLUCK FOR DOUGLAS FLOYD

All Dragons are invited to attend a celebratory potluck lunch at our Lincoln Square zendo on Sunday, February 26, following our sangha meeting.  We will gather to share food and to express our gratitude to Douglas Floyd for the many contributions that he has made to our sangha, as he steps down from his position as Director and also from the Board, which he has led as President for many years. We will also welcome our new leaders Wade and Alex. Click here to see the event link for more information about the day as well as to sign up to bring food for the event.


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

Upcoming Events

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 Ruth Ozeki, who just released a new book entitled The Book of Form and Emptiness and who will be speaking at Ancient Dragon on June 24.
 
Ruth Ozeki  (11/05/2016) –  Writing Process and Tales of Time Being
Ruth Ozeki  (11/06/2016) –  Arrays of Self Amid Time Beings
Taigen Leighton (8/29/2010) – Zen Time and Its Practice

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.