ANNOUNCING the 2017 Easter Retreat

Hey! I finally got it together! You can read all about it and  register for the Easter Retreat here!

Our ​Annual ​Spring ​Zazenkai ​at ​Penuel ​Ridge ​will ​be ​from ​Good ​Friday ​April ​14th ​until ​Easter ​Sunday ​April ​16th ​(we'll ​be ​setting ​up ​the ​night ​before ​in ​the ​Thursday ​evening ​of ​4/14). ​Our ​esteemed ​and ​Venerable ​Abbot, ​Taiun ​Michael ​Elliston, ​Roshi, ​will ​be ​teaching ​and ​offering ​dokusan. ​Cost ​will ​be ​$80 ​per ​day ​or ​$240 ​for ​all ​the ​three ​days. ​Add ​$40 ​if ​you ​will ​be ​arriving ​and ​staying ​on ​Thursday ​night.

Nature ​in ​Abundance. ​Serene ​surroundings! ​ ​Beds, ​sheets, ​towels, ​(gourmet-vegetarian) ​meals, ​and ​1st ​class ​accommodations ​for ​zazen. ​How ​can ​you ​beat ​it? ​




Tuesday Night Sit @ 7pm | 2 sits and The Book Study

Yep. Book Study tonight.

The Book? Old Path, White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh

Tonight’s Chapter? 59: The Net of Theories, in which the Buddha discusses the competing cults and philosophies of his day.

No Book? No Problem! We read parts of the chapter aloud before discussion and there are copies of the book in the zendo so people can follow along. Absolutely everyone is invited to participate.


Saturday Morning @ 7am *again* | Tea Ceremony, A Half-Day Sit, and Heart Sutra

Yep! Starting at 7am again this week. A half-day sit 12th South style!

Tea Ceremony and two 40 minute sits with 10 minutes of walking meditation in between. After that we’ll take a break, get some biscotti and coffee and start our regular sit at 9 am (three rounds of 25 minute sits with the Heart Sutra to close us out).

Start at 7am and stay for the whole deal and you’ll have gotten a half-day’s worth of sitting in. But come in whenever you can. The half-day sits are great for deeping your practice and getting ready for the Easter Retreat.

And I promise a post about the retreat which shall reveal all in the next two days. 

Or my name isn’t Billy Steinenhoffmanschaeuer.


Nashville Secular Meditation Group meets on Sundays @ 9am. 

Check out our sittin’ brothers and sisters with which we share this space in both an practical sense and an abstract sense! Sitting this Sunday.

About the NSM:

NSM Facebook:


I’m getting excited about the Spring Retreat y’all. Stay Tuned!

~ Steph


Zen This Week: Stuff You *Need to Know*

Tuesday Night at 7pm || Two Sits and One Discussion

Nat is doing the discussion tonight and his topic is “Stuff you NEED TO KNOW!”

I honestly have no idea. But I’m intrigued. I can’t wait to hear what I’ve been missing out on this whole time.


Saturday Morning at 7am  || Tea Ceremony, A Half-Day Sit, and Heart Sutra

Yep. You read right. We’ll be starting at *7 am* this  Saturday. We’re gonna do it 12th South style. We will serve tea from what Nat is still *insisting* we call "Emperor Wu’s Imperial Tea Set". Then we sit for two 40 minute rounds with a 10 minute walking meditation break in between.  We’ll take a break for the bathroom, coffee, and cookies. Then we’ll punch reset on the whole scene and start our regular 9 am Saturday service (three 25 minute sits and the Heart Sutra Service at the end).

The idea is to get ready for our Easter Retreat (more info about that later this week).  It’s only a month away. If you are new to meditation or haven’t sat for long periods of time, a half-day sit is a really great way to prepare for a retreat. I did two half-day sits before my first full retreat and I have to say, it made the experience much more satisfying and enjoyable.

If you are looking to deepen your practice and have a fulfilling retreat, doing a half-day sit is a great place to start. We hope to do at least one other half-day sit before the Easter retreat starts.


Secular Meditation Group is meeting this Sunday at 9am!

That’s a great place to get extra sits in too, by the by. It’s like us but less baggage. Nothing but the sits. Check them out!

Keep Warm, Keep Dry ~ Steph


Zen This Week: "The Completeness of the Dharma"

Tuesday Night at 7 || Two Sits and One Talk
Abhilash is doing the Dharma talk tonight. His topic?
Wait for it . . .
"The Completeness of Dharma". Had you goin' for a minute there, didn't I?
Personally, I can't wait to hear Abhilash tie it all together. I'm even bringing homemade biscotti I'm so excited! Wooo!
Saturday Morning at 9 || Three Sits and One Heart Sutra Service

Get jump on your weekend with us! We'll be sitting three 25 minute rounds and doing the Heart Sutra to close it out. I promise to have coffee, tea, and the biscottis ready when you arrive. I'm gonna have to prep the place for guest because guess what?
*Zen Meditation Class Continued! This Saturday (3/11) at 11am.*
So nice we are doing it twice. Deep thanks to everyone who showed up to our first ever "Intro to Zen" class. Based on what we heard from you, an intermediate class is in order. Very well!

So this Saturday after regular sitting, we will be having a part 2 introduction to Zen meditation class. We will go further into the how to sit, the protocols of the zendo, our chants and why we do them and of course, more glorious sitting.

It's $10 suggested donation, if you got it. But it's ok if not. Shoot us an email at to register.

If it's anything like last time, it will be fun!

 Protocols of the Zendo and chants not really your thing? Are you a "look, man, I'm just here for the sits" kinda guy?

Awesome! Our Secular Meditation Group meets Sundays at 9am. Check out their Facebook page to stay tuned for updates.

Try not to get blown away out there gang!
Lurves ~ Steph

This Week in Zen: Why We Sit

Tuesday Night @ 7 || 2 Sits and 1 Discussion

This Week, I’m breaking out the *official* Sotoshu “Introduction to Zazen” book and reading Okumura’s reasons for why we sit. The Sotoshu guys can be astoundingly formal and stiff at times, but man, when they picked Okumura to write this, they hit the nail on the head. It really moved me. I honestly can’t wait to share it with you guys.


Saturday Morning @ 9 || 3 Sits and 1 Heart Sutra Service

3 X 25 minutes rounds of sitting plus bells and incense while chanting about the reality beyond which we can conceive. It’s Saturday. You know how we do.

*But wait! There’s more!*


**Zen Meditation Class || 1st Saturday of the month at 11 am!**

 We are dedicating the first Saturdays of each month on focused teaching of zazen!

The class will focus on all the essentials of Zen meditation: posture, breath, and attention. You’ll be able to take your time, to introduce yourself, talk about what interest you about Zen, and ask as many questions as you would like with folks that have been practicing meditation for decades.

Come one, come all! Absolute Beginners and Current Sitters alike!

“No matter how long we have been practicing, we nurture beginner’s mind, regarding each period of meditation as our first.”

All of us, no matter who, can always learn something new.


Remember the Secular Meditation Group meets Sunday at 9am. I’ve heard old friends have been dropping by. Awesome! We appreciate your support in our attempts to expand our offerings!


When you pop by the center, you might be slightly surprised. A lot of work is being done to make this office space more “zenny” on the inside. Looks great. Looks legit. We thank you for your pluck and hard effort guys!

~ Steph  

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