We are located just North-West from the University of Texas, on the corner of West 31st Street and Washington Square at 3014 Washington Square.
The best thing you can bring is what we call “Beginner’s Mind.” This means it’s really OK to be a beginner. In fact, it’s essential to cultivate this mind of openness and inquiry. Our founder, Suzuki roshi said, “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, few.” “Beginner’s mind is everything.”
The first thing you may notice when you enter the temple is the intentional stillness and quiet atmosphere. Even so, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you need it! Once in the foyer, remove your shoes and place them on the shoe-rack before entering the zendo (meditation hall). You may read up on our Zendo Forms ahead of time if you like, or you may simply watch and follow along with others. For your first time, attending the Beginner’s Instruction (every Saturday at 8am) is highly recommended.
Beginner’s Instruction is also held on Mondays from 11:15-12 PM, and each month we offer a “Next Step” class for those who have attended the Beginner’s Instruction and wish to learn more.
To this end, refrain from bringing extraneous personal items into the zendo, such as purses, satchels, keys, cell phones, wallets or water bottles (eyeglasses are okay).
Keep dress comfortable and modest.
Please do not wear bright colors or garments bearing large images or large printed words, which can be a distraction to others. Do wear loose fitting clothing in dark or subdued colors, with skirts and/or pants long enough to reach below the knees, and shirts with sleeves over the shoulders. Some find it helpful to designate particular clothes to wear only in the zendo. In cold weather, neutral colored socks may be worn in the zendo, and then removed for zazen.
Please do not wear hats or gloves in the zendo. Long hair should be worn up and off the neck.
Please be sensitive to those with chemical allergies by not wearing scented lotions, perfume, or other fragrances.
Remove noisy jewelry and disarm watch-timers before entering the zendo.
Traditional zen robes are worn by priests, although laypeople sometimes wear sitting robes. If you wear robes, always wear at least one layer of clothing underneath them, and change into and out of robes and sitting attire in private.
The best time to exit the zendo to get water, secure more cushions, or use the restroom is at the end of the period of zazen before kinhin starts. If you leave the zendo at the end of a period of zazen, simply bow to and away from your seat and exit the zendo. If you return before the next period of zazen, please do kinhin in the foyer and wait until the end of kinhin to re-enter the zendo.
Please remain in the zendo for the duration of the period unless there is an emergency. If you do need to exit the zendo, the form is to quietly and deliberately get up from your seat and offer a gassho bow to and away from your seat before leaving. Please walk slowly and mindfully if you need to leave the zendo during zazen.
You are welcome to attend all or any part of the Saturday Morning Program.
AZC is always striving to improve member benefits and may add new ones or alter the existing benefits.
As our guest we encourage you to ask questions and seek information. You can pick up our brochure and ask questions of our greeters and/or teachers. We’ll be happy to discuss whatever ways you’d like to become involved at the Austin Zen Center.