The Village Zendo

260 West Broadway                                                                                                                                                                                                New York, NY 10013                                                                                                                                                                                          website: villagezendo.org                                                                                                                                                                

Description of Organization:

The Village Zendo was founded in 1986 by Pat Enkyo O’Hara and Barbara Joshin O’Hara. We envision a world of peace where all beings treat each other and their environment with awareness, wisdom and compassion while providing a way for realizing a life of awareness, wisdom and compassion.  This is accomplished by offering training in the teachings of Zen Buddhism and by
cultivating and maintaining a practice environment that is supported by teachers and a community of practitioners in the heart of New York City.  People of different cultures, colors, abilities, ages, identifications, and beliefs who can practice within the guidelines for meditation and harmonious practice that we have laid out for the Village Zendo are all welcome. They appreciate and explore differences in order to build understanding, harmony, and openness for the whole community. 

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhism grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to create a website that documents contemporary female Zen Buddhist teaching founders, in order to highlight how these women leaders arose at a time when it was uncommon to encounter women in leadership positions. The women we intend to document are pioneers in modern Zen practice. In-depth archival research will be of use to future scholars of Buddhist history.  The website will include a short video portrait and a biographical essay for each woman-identifying founding teacher, as well as archival collections and historical writing, talks and other media that is available.

A pilot project will profile Village Zendo’s Abbot and Co-Founder, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara and her founding partner Roshi Joshin O’Hara. This pilot project will include: collecting and archiving interviews (past and present) photos, videos, dharma talks and writings by and about both of them, to be presented with historical context, in one online location. The interviews in the video portrait will include specific questions about how their representation in the contemporary realm of Buddhist communities has made an impact and what some of their challenges have been in their leadership roles. Upon the success of the pilot project, other Zen Buddhist female founders will be featured. Currently these six teachers are at the top of the list: Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker, Charlotte Joko Beck, Merle Kodo Boyle, Sandra Jishu Holmes, Roshi Anne Seisen Saunders and Sensei Zenshin Florence Caplow.