First Time Visit

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Welcome to our zendo!

If you are visiting us for the first time, welcome! All meditation sessions are free and open to the public, as are all events listed on our site, unless otherwise noted (although we will gratefully accept your donations so that our practice may continue!) You can practice meditation without subscribing to any particular set of beliefs, so people of all faith backgrounds (and no faith background) are welcome.

Please click here for times that the Zen Center is open for in-person visitation and the COVID-19 protocols that must be followed. If visiting, please come 15 minutes early for orientation and instruction. We also offer many online programs, including an online Introduction to Zen Meditation class.

Most of the events and programming offered at the Zen Center follow Rinzai Zen Buddhist traditions. We are fortunate to also have a small, dedicated group of practitioners of Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhism who offer meditations in their style on Saturday mornings. There are some differences in the Zen and Tibetan customs, but if you’re here to experience meditation, either is a fine choice. In fact, several of our members attend both Tibetan and Zen sittings.

Please be advised that our regularly scheduled activities are subject to change. We close for New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. We are also effectively closed during the Zen Center of Syracuse's sesshins, intensive meditation retreats held four times each year. Please check our events page to make sure that your intended visit does not conflict with the Zen Center of Syracuse's sesshin (Dai Bosatsu sesshins are separate and do not impact our programing).

We are fortunate to have a strong group of residential practitioners who live at the Zen Center; as a result, we are rarely closed for weather-related events. Any closings will be posted to our website and sent over our email list.

We hope you enjoy your first visit to the Zen Center. Feel free to come to as many (or few) meditations, events, and service as you like without any obligation to become an official member of our community. If, after several visits, you come to feel that the Zen Center is a spiritual home for you, we encourage you to use the link above or talk with a Zen Center member to learn more about what membership means whenever you’re ready.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Thank you, and welcome!