A Zen Practice

Our Zen community is a friendly and welcoming place to learn about and practice meditation, share Buddhist teachings, and to create relationships that are mindful, caring, and responsive to the unmet needs of others. Everyone is welcome.

Meditation Schedule (WE HOPE TO BEGIN SUMMER 2018)
Everyone is welcome! You don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice meditation. You are invited to attend whether you are new to meditation or a long-term practitioner.

Planned Schedule beginning Summer 2018:
Mornings:  7:00 to 8:00 a.m.
Silent meditation and chanting service
Noon: 12:20-1:00 p.m.
Silent meditation
Evenings: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Silent Meditation for 25 minutes; walking meditation for 10 minutes; silent meditation for 25 minutes
Wednesdays 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. (when Sensei Joshin is in town. See EVENTS for the calendar)
Meditation and Dharma Talk
Led By: Sensei Joshin
Temple opens at 5 p.m. Zendo, Library and Community Room are available for community use.
Sunday evenings 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Zazen and, every other week, Dharma Discussion
Led By: Colleen Brown or Sensei Joshin

Beginner meditation instruction is available.

When coming to meditate please wear comfortable, loose clothing that will not be distracting to others. Please do not wear shorts, tank tops, beeping watches, or strong perfume.

Meditation can be done in any comfortable, upright posture. Cushions and chairs are provided.

If you have questions, email Joshin.

Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community:
3598 Route 30
Cornwall, VT 05753
(505) 500-7838

Getting Started

  • Attend one of our programs or sign up for our newsletter. We’ll let you know when meditation instruction, dharma talks, retreats, and workshops are scheduled
  • Sign up for an Introduction to Zen Workshop at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen by contacting Joshin.
  • Start regularly attending a sitting group. In addition to Bread Loaf Mountain Zen, which meets each month, we recommend the CVUUS Sangha and the Zen Affiliate of Vermont.

Read up on Zen
There are many books on Zen, but here are a few to consider:

  • Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind​ by Shunryu Suzuki
  • Appreciate Your Life by Maizumi Roshi
  • What is Zen by Norman Fisher and Susan Moon
  • The Fruitful Darkness by Roshi Joan Halifax
  • Instructions to the Cook by Bernie Glassman
  • Bearing Witness by Bernie Glassman
  • Opening the Hand of Thought by Kosho Uchiyama
  • Returning to Silence by Dainin Katigiri

Establishing a Practice

  • Start meditating regularly at home. Just a few minutes each day can be tremendously helpful.
  • Make it inviting.  You can make an altar and put things that represent earth (a flower or plant), water (a tiny bowl with water in it), fire (a candle), air (incense or flower petals),  and space (a Buddha statue). You can also add names of people who are struggling or sick, and those who have died.
  • Sit in a comfortable posture and set a timer for whatever amount of time you want to meditate. Even a few minutes a day helps build and strengthen a practice.
    • Gather your attention. Bring yourself into the present moment.
    • Recall your intention. We sit in solitude and solidarity with all others, committing ourselves to be of service, relieving our own suffering so we can attend to the suffering of others.
    • Attune to your body, heart, and mind. Notice your feet on the floor. Feel into the quality of your emotions/heart space. Take note of the quality of your mind, whether busy or slow, just notice it.
    • Rest your attention on each breath, notice the breath and gently return to it each time you’ve drifted away. Drifting away into thoughts and feelings is natural and necessary. Meditation strengthens as we remember to come home, back to the breath whenever we have drifted away.
    • Just end. When the timer goes off, make a little bow of gratitude and simply end your mediation mindfully and continue with your day. You can dedicate the benefits of your practice to others.
    • Take care of your body, heart, and mind. Exercise, spiritual reading, eating well, and serving others are all practices of the heart. Of course, a little silence each day can change your life.

Attend a one day sitting with the Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community. 
See our calendar for upcoming programs.

Volunteer with Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community
Contact Joshin to see if you can offer some assistance. We need help organizing upcoming programs and to do some copy-editing on blog entries. We need people to organize food for upcoming events. We could also use web-editing and graphic design work. Soon, we will be organizing some service opportunities in the community. There will be lots to do to make those a reality. You can reach Joshin at joshin@breadloafmountainzen.org to explore volunteer options.

Arrange a one-on-one meditation interview with Sensei Joshin
Joshin will hold in-person practice interviews when he is in Vermont each month, or via web or teleconference at any time. You can email Joshin at joshin@breadloafmountainzen.org to arrange a time.