Welcome to Great Plains Zen Center
The Great Plains Zen Center is a Soto Zen Buddhist temple and community with locations in both the northwest suburbs of Chicago and southern Wisconsin. We are part of the White Plum Asanga, a worldwide network of Zen centers established by Taizan Maezumi Roshi and his Dharma Successors. Our teacher is Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, one of Maezumi Roshi's twelve original Dharma successors.
The Great Plains Zen Center's retreat center and main facility, Myoshinji (Subtle Mind Temple) is located near the town of Monroe in rural Green County, Wisconsin. Great Plains Zen Center is also active in the Chicago area, with regular zazen and other events at Countryside Church in Palatine, Illinois.
We are pleased to announce that we are now a Zen Peacemaker Order Member Group. The Zen Peacemaker Order is an organization supporting the vision and inspiration for Socially Engaged Buddhism throughout the world with 83 affiliates in 12 countries on five continents. To learn more, click here.
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Exciting news: The Board of GPZC has initiated our long-anticipated Building Renovation Project, to upgrade the work building at Myoshinji in order to provide a large, flexible facility for many uses, including a larger zendo (meditation hall). We are underway with fundraising, and hope that you will make a tax-deductible donation and help us achieve the realization of this goal. Please click here to learn more.
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All are welcome
For those attending for the first time at Myoshinji (Monroe, WI) or Countryside Church in Palatine, we offer brief beginning instruction on regular sitting nights and a monthly three-hour Introduction to Zen workshop. More information for those new to practice can be found on our Starting Zen Practice page. We also offer an Introduction to Zen Practice, available as a PDF download.
Opportunities to practice
The Great Plains Zen Center offers regular meditation (zazen, or "sitting") periods every Sunday at 7:00 PM at Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 1025 N. Smith Street in Palatine, Illinois. At Myoshinji, located at W7762 Falk Rd. Monroe, Wisconsin, zazen is offered Wednesday through Friday evenings and Friday and Saturday mornings.
We hold a variety of special events and retreats throughout the year, many of which are open to families, children and community members. Workshops and other scheduled events may be found on our calendar page, and we publish a quarterly newsletter as well.
The Zen Center provides a number of other practice opportunities for a wide range of individual interests, including a monthly fusatsu, or Renewal of Vows service (everyone is welcome whether or not they have formally taken the Buddhist vows); Introduction to Zen Practice workshops; periodic retreats, ranging from 2 days (zazenkai) to 3-7 days (sesshin), including Beginner's Mind sesshin, for those attending their first retreat. We provide resources and opportunities to support your practice at home as well. We also feature monthly dharma talks (teisho) by our teacher, Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi and senior students. Detailed information can be found on our calendar and Starting Zen Practice pages.
We have two affiliate groups: the Great Wave Zen Sangha, a center located in Ludington, Michigan where the resident teacher is Myoyu Roshi's first Dharma successor, Gendo Wolff, Sensei and the Logan Square Zendo in Chicago.
We hope you find encouragement and support for your practice at the Great Plains Zen Center.