Affinity Groups

Urban Zen

Urban Zen is in the process of being reformulated. Please check back at a later time for more specific information about this unique practice opportunity.

Urban Zen is an ongoing group where you can learn the mechanics of Zen practice and collaborate with your peers to develop and integrate a stronger sense of ‘here’ and ‘now’ into your individual lives. It is, in short, about how you practice Zen in your life outside the zendo.


Environmental Studies Group

The AZC Environmental Studies group meets on the 1st Saturday of the month upstairs at AZC approximately one hour after the Saturday morning program. This is usually around 1:00 or 1:30 pm. Here are some of the projects we completed in 2012.

  • » Joanna Macy based deep ecology workshop led by Eric Towler
  • » Get the AZC grounds certified as "Best of Texas" wildlife habitat
  • » Shoal Creek Cleanup with Keep Austin Beautiful
  • » Complete climate impact audit to assess AZC's carbon footprint
  • » Spring and fall camping trips

For updates and more information please check out our blog:

We aspire to cultivate awareness of the interdependence of all life and to respond appropriately.


Dharma Punx

This group is open to anyone interested in facing the truth of their own minds and finding their way out of delusion, people who have a desire for spiritual and/or personal growth, and anyone interested in meditation. Don't let the word "punk" deter you. It does not matter how you dress, if you have tattoos, or what kind of music you listen to. All beings are welcome.

Sundays at 11am to 12:30pm. Donations gratefully accepted. Join Dharma Punx on Facebook.


Words of the Buddha

Bhante Cintita Dinsmore of the Sitagu Buddhist Vihara here in Austin, leads this study of the ancient Buddhist suttas. Each week we take up and discuss excerpts from these original Dharma talks of the Buddha. Sundays from 2pm to 3:30pm. Join the Meetup group! Recordings of the classes is available here. Here's the Wordpress site for the group:


Meditation and Recovery

Meditation and Recovery is an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and everyone is welcome to attend. The primary purpose of this meeting is to share experience with meditation as an integral part of maintaining sobriety, to support one another along a shared path of recovery, and to inspire one another to live mindfully with respect and care for all beings. Meetings are held in the Zendo at AZC on Sunday nights and include short meditation periods and a brief reading followed by discussion. We hold four half-day retreats during the year.

Sundays at 6pm to 7pm.


Social Justice Group

This newly forming group will be focusing on social justice action and issues from Buddhist perspectives. More information to follow.

Writing Group

Tuesday evenings, 6:45pm-8:15pm

The editors of JustThis, the Austin Zen Center's online journal, invite you to join an ongoing Writing Group meeting weekly in the upstairs classroom. The purpose of the group is to encourage gentle awareness and invite your creativity and responsiveness to arise in the moment. Because Zen isn't about anything, the content of your writing is yours to explore. We provide prompts, but everything is available to you.

This group is a mindful writing group with a focus on exploration, creativity, and sharing, not technique. You don't have to think of yourself as a "writer" to come along and enjoy yourself. In fact, we encourage you to surrender any ideas you have about what writing is "supposed to be" and see what happens. After a short meditation, we provide you with a prompt. You can sit with it for a while and then let your pen take dictation, noting whatever arises in your mind (which might or might not be related to the prompt).

We end with a period where you can share your work. Since the goal of the group is to provide an open, loving container that encourages creativity, receiving feedback will be optional. Just having the opportunity to read aloud and be heard might feel like enough for you. Or perhaps you'd like to hear what came up for other writers as they listened to you read. Literary criticism and writing instruction will not be provided because we want to encourage writers to find their own voice. Of course, you're free to exchange that kind of feedback outside of group if you choose.

Anyone with an interest in writing is encouraged to attend. Please bring a notebook and pen or laptop with you.

There is no charge for this group. Donations to the Austin Zen Center are always welcome.



Dharma Talks


Kosho McCall, April 5, 2014,
"How Do I Cultivate the Way of the Buddhas?"

AZC Dharma Talks »

Guest Practice

KesuInterested in either starting or deepening your Zen practice in a residential setting with others? Our Guest Practice program is a short term opportunity (one to four weeks) that includes meditation, study, work practice and discussions with other practitioners about Zen Buddhism.

Learn More »


New Beginnings

Elizabeth Law

We are refining our online magazine, JustThis, to be an active, alive blog rather than a magazine which comes out in issues. That means we will post pieces as they come in and will encourage conversation and interaction between the readers and the writers.

As part of our changes we will use the Tuesday night Zen Writing group as the source of many of the postings. As well, we welcome other submissions for consideration.

Visit the JustThis writers and artists in their endeavors.