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

FULL MOON BODHISATTVA CEREMONY – Tuesday, November 12, 2019 @ 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM @ HealthKick Kung Fu, 1329 N Larrabee Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Traditional monthly repentance ceremony with melodic chanting invoking buddhas and bodhisattvas, led by Ancient Dragon Zen priests. Co-sponsored by Ancient Dragon Zen Gate and HealthKick Kung Fu.



Nyozan Eric Shutt will give the Dharma Talk and will be available for individual practice discussion.   Vegan oryoki-style lunch is included.
Please register by November 11th with Nyozan at 


ORIGAMI CRANE FOLDING – Thursday, November 21, 2019 @ 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM
Sunday, November 24, 2019 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Monday, November 25, 2019 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

We gather together typically during the 4th week of each month during the hour before our regular mediation events on Monday and Thursday evenings and after regular meditation events on Sunday mornings 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.


RENEW AND RECONNECT QIGONG & MEDITATION RETREAT – Saturday, November 23, 2019 @ 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

The retreat is a combination of Qigong and Sitting & Walking Meditation. 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.




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 13

Wednesday Morning Zazen

Wednesday November 13, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 am
Wed 13

Hyde Park Zen Group @ Rockefeller Chapel

Wednesday November 13, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:40 pm
Thu 14

Beginner’s Mind Program: Zazen and Discussion of Suzuki Roshi Teachings

Thursday November 14, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sun 17

Daylong Meditation Retreat with Nyozan Eric Shutt

Sunday November 17, 2019 @ 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Mon 18

Zen Meditation and Dharma talk by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton

Monday November 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Latest Dharma Podcast Episodes

The Mutual Influence of the Environment and Awakening Self

ADZG 753 ADZG Sunday Morning Sesshin Talk by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton

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