Educational Opportunities

Beginners' Class

The easiest way to become familiar with AZC and our practice is to come to the Beginners’ Class held on Saturdays at 8:00–9:00am. This event is held in the zendo (meditation hall) in the main building. You will be given meditation instruction (the core practice of Zen Buddhism) and a general orientation to the Center and what it has to offer you. Following the orientation you are invited to join the Saturday Morning Program. There is no charge for this group. Donations to the Austin Zen Center are always welcome.

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.

Next Step Meditation Instruction

Next Step is for people who have attended a Beginner's Instruction class, and who are interested in bringing what they have learned to the zendo. Next Step is an hour and a half class where we will go over the forms and ceremonies in Soto Zen. We'll have a refresher of meditation instruction and will touch on things like how to move around in the zendo, bowing, chanting, and service. We'll also cover kinhin (walking meditation) as well. There will be time for questions and answers. We will meet in the main building (3014 Washington Square). There is $15 charge for the class. To register or for further information please call the office at 512-452-5777.

Outdoor Work Practice

Getting ahead of the Winter dormancy with pruning, planting, mulching, bagging, cleanup and trash hauling. This is an opportunity for anyone who enjoys working together outside, preparing the Austin Zen Center grounds for the Upcoming Mountain Seat Ceremony in April

Social Justice Group

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

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.

Wednesday Night Book Group

Wednesday evenings, 7pm–8:30pm

This group studies various Buddhist books in a warm, fun and contemplative atmosphere. You need not have read the book beforehand. No cost for this group, but any donations are gratefully accepted.

Zen Writing Group

The Zen Writing group gives us a chance to write and share about the writing. The focus is on the process of writing, writing as awareness. Participants form a nucleus of contributors to JustThis.

Long-term participation is nice, but people are also welcome to drop in.

7–8:30pm Tuesday at AZC

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

Elizabeth Law

Our online magazine, JustThis, is now an active, alive blog rather than a magazine which comes out in issues. We post pieces as they come in to encourage conversation and interaction between the readers and the writers.

We 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.