Minnesota Zen Meditation Center

3343 E Bde Maka Ska Pkwy                                                                                                                                                                                             Minneapolis, MN 55408                                                                                                                                                                                    Website: mnzencenter.org                                                                                                                                                                        

Description of Organization:

MZMC offers an  dual traditional and contemporary practice model. Zazen, or seated meditation, remains a core component of all community offerings. New and experienced practitioners to A variety of new and experienced practitioners can participate in a diversity of programs that occur in a safe, supportive environment.  6 days a week, community members are welcome to participate in morning and evening meditation periods led by experienced practitioners. In addition, they regularly hold traditional services steeped in practices rich 800 year history. We invite community members to dive deeper into Zazen
practice through monthly retreat offerings that run anywhere from 1 to 7 days in length. In addition, community members are welcome to attend weekly classes, workshops, and study groups. They host two public talks per week to ensure the diversity of our programming reflects the realities of day-to-day life of those in our community. They also offer children’s programming to youth ages 6 to 12 to help develop the next generation of Soto Zen practitioners. Each year, approximately 500 newcomers attend our Introduction to Zen Meditation Program.  Sangha members are active community involvement initiatives with local food shelves and hunger relief organizations. Members also participate in a number of social justice initiatives including our Waking Up to Race program. We also offer sitting and discussion groups specifically for the LGBTQ+ community and people of color. They also open their doors to host a weekly Dharma Recovery group for individuals with a history of substance use. 

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhist grant in the amount of $7,000 was awarded to support two three-week residencies for two Asian women Buddhist monastics. The monastic stay will act as a vivid demonstration of ways women leaders in Asian Buddhist monastic communities are keeping the dharma alive in contemporary settings. In collaboration with community partners, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center (MZMC) plans to maximize the residents’ three-week stay. MZMC holds relationships with area Sanghas and inter-faith communities that will help spotlight the residents in front of diverse audiences.

MZMC has experience organizing some of the largest gatherings of Buddhist leaders in the state including the silent clergy march in support of George Floyd and the Minnesota Intersangha Ethics in Leadership Summit. It is expected that the residents’ visit will be one of the most highly anticipated events ever organized. Partnership with the three additional Soto Zen practice centers in the Twin Cities, each of which also have vital practice communities eager to connect with Buddhist practitioners who reside in Asia, is also planned.



 TLC’s mission to serve those who wish to deepen their understanding and spiritual awareness regarding matters related to the end of life. TLC is women-led. 83% of participants and attendees are women. A variety of programs are offered on both spiritual and secular levels.. Although events are intended for everyone ,it has been found that women are more likely to attend the events, ask questions, and talk about their own and their families’ situations. When programs by female Tibetan or western Buddhist teachers, registration numbers reflect great interest by women. Because of this, TLC will host more events in the future by women and follow up the teachings with “Deep Chat” support group talks on the topics discussed.