Meeting this Saturday but Not on Christmas day

Hey y’all
Festive greetings!

We *are* meeting this Saturday (12/22) but we *are not* meeting on Christmas day (though if you come by the center at 6pm our Wildheart friends will be playing board games and chopping on snacks).

See you guys soon. Stay safe out there. Take everything in moderation. It’s ok to take break from family. No, you don’t have to eat that last cookie- it can go in the trash- it’s fine.



Zen This Week: The Gift of the Magi

Tonight at 7pm! We get a bit into the spirit of the season and talk about the greatest Christmas Story Ever:  The Gift of the Magi. As theme on the ongoing series of talks of Zen to be found outside of the tradition, we’ll be exploring how the classic “Gift of the Magi” story matches up nicely with what Dogen said: In true giving “you become the giver and the receiver at the same time”. Just the thing we need to cure our Yuletide cynicism!

Also, this Saturday we are meeting at Sip Cafe after the sit (around 10am). And I’m bringing a dorky fast-paced card game for any of my fellow geeks that are interested!

A thousand thanks to Dave for flying all the way out to the boonies and trying to teach us a thing or two about the true teaching of hopelessness and the true faith of doing! Dave even gave us great press in the Angel City Zen Center newsletter: NZC “They have a really unique and down to earth approach to practice”.

Thanks, Dave! You were a big part of making that happen. We “hope” to see you soon!



Reunions, Retreats, and how going nowhere can get you to places you’d never otherwise go

First things First: We got a retreat this weekend! Allright!

When? Friday 11/30 at 6pm (set-up & dinner at 4pm)
until Sunday 12/2 at 3pm (Adam’s initiation at 4pm)
Where? Penuel Ridge, Ashland City (about 15 minutes from the zen center)
Register? Please!
Or give us cash or check at the event or pay via our PayPal or Venmo (nashvillezen).
I can’t do all of it; can I still come?
You know that our kinda zen is drop-in, drop-out, drop-off. If you want to come, come. If you have to bounce, bounce. Don’t worry if you can’t do all of it. Do what you can. You’ll get no guff from us. Ever.
Questions? But, of course. Send them to or hit me up in Facebook Messenger.
The wonderful and amazing Dave Cuomo is leading our retreat. Dave was one of pillars of the Nashville Zen Center for many years. And a number of our fellow zanny zennies that can’t make the retreat still want to see Dave. And I have good news for you!
The Taproom in 12 South at 7pm this Thursday we will be treating Dave to a sangha supper! So if you want to hang out with Dave while he’s in town, in casual setting, here’s your chance!
Tonight @ 7pm || We’ll do our usual two rounds of sitting plus a talk. And to really pull out the stops on promoting the retreat, I’ll be reading from Dave. Specifically,  I’ll be reading from a prayer book he created in divinity school. All the zen classics are there but his framing of them is ...unconventional, to say the least.

No Sitting on Gallatin this Saturday, only sitting at Penuel Ridge. You should totally come and check it out. It’s beautiful out there. Come even if you are broke. We are all broke in one way or the other. But we know you are good for it too, in one way or the other.
So excited to see you, whenever it is that I see you…


We are indeed sitting this Saturday

Hey Err'body,

I just wanted to assure everyone that we are meeting tomorrow at 7am even after the ravages and desolation that is Black Friday...

Oh, and for those that wanted me to post about the Middle Eastern Koan Guy! His name was Nasreddin (often referred to his title, Hodja).

Here's his Wikipedia:

And here's a bomb collection of stories about him:

They are hilarious and totally worth your time and attention while gorging on holiday leftovers.

Thank you all for being apart of our crazy sitting group!

~ Steph


Zen People Cling to *Nothing* (except Retreat Schedules)

Hey Everyone,
I just wanted to give everyone an update. Our Glorious and Most Highly Esteemed and Lauded Teacher (Dave) has descended from the Tuisa Heaven from on High and bestowed on us the most sought and prized of all the Dharma Treasures: A Retreat Schedule!
You will notice much needed yoga has been added to this schedule (your knees and back will thank him) and there are no 50 minute sits! What a relief!
One caveat though: Dave says “I reserve the right to modify before it all goes down”.
And as Nat said “Dave is the star of this medicine show”.
So you are warned: The Universe is Subject to Change!

Also I’m doing a bit about the koans of the Middle East and Central Asia which all star one somewhat foolish semi-mythical mufti: Nasreddin. That’s tonight at 7pm in case you want to drop by.

We are all still meeting after the horrors of Black Friday, this Saturday at 7am. We’ll be dusting off  Old Path White Clouds for those of you interested in hearing a certainly mythologized life of the Buddha. They’ll be coffee and excellent Mexican cookies (thanks, Alonso!).

I’m pumped about the retreat, y’all. Hit me up on Messenger or email for any questions you have.
~ Steph


Early Winter Retreat

Friday Night, November 30th
4 - 5 set up
5 - 5:45 dinner
6pm - 7:30 zazen & kinhin (3 x 25)

Saturday, December 1st
6am - 6:30 tea
6:30 - 7:30 zazen & kinhin (2x25)
7:30 - 8 morning service
8 - 8:45 - breakfast
8:45 - 9:30 - samu
9:30 - 10:30 - yoga
10:30 - 12:50 zazen & kinhin (3x40)
1- 1:45 lunch
1:45 - 2:45 talk
2:45 - 4:15 zazen & kinhin (3x25)
4:15 - 5:15 - yoga
5:15 - 6 - talk
6:15 - 7 dinner
7 - 8:30 zazen (3x25)

Sunday, December 2nd
6am - 6:30 tea
6:30 - 7:30 zazen & kinhin (2x25)
7:30 - 8 morning service
8 - 8:45 - breakfast
8:45 - 9:30 - samu
9:30 - 10:30 - yoga
10:30 - 12:50 zazen & kinhin (3x40)
1- 1:45 lunch
1:45 - 2:45 talk
3 pm - jukai
Zazen: silent meditation
Kinhin: silent walking meditation (all sitting periods are broken up walking periods)
2X25: two rounds of 25 minute sits
Tissarana: closing chant of most zen centers; the three refuges in Pali
Samu: silent cleaning- a key aspect of zen retreats
Jukai: a ceremony in which someone officially joins the group (sanga)