Introducing ZPI Affiliate Group: Village Zendo

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.  Join HERE to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI, and visit here for a full list of these groups.  The following is an introduction to Village Zendo.

What is your organization’s name?

Our name is Village Zendo

March 8, 2020. A ceremony at the Village Zendo in which Joren gave her first dharma talk and engaged the sangha in dharma combat.

What is your mission?

To provide a way for realizing a life of awareness, wisdom and compassion. We do this by offering training in the teachings of Zen Buddhism and by cultivating and maintaining a practice environment that is supported by teachers and a community of practitioners in the heart of New York City.

Where is your organization based?

New York

How many regular members do you serve?


Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?

In 1986, a group gathered in Enkyo’s apartment to sit zazen and find ways to meet the challenges of the AIDS epidemic. Later homophobia, racism, poverty, criminal justice became our foci.


Tell us about one exciting project, retreat or other offering that you are currently working on?

In criminal justice, we visit prisoners at Sing Sing and at Rikers. We also have a lively solitary confinement writers group, communicating with many prisoners in the US.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement? 

When working for release of aging prisoners: we begin by not knowing how to approach the legislators, and so we listen to these lawmakers, their struggles, we serve as witness to the difficulties of changing laws, and finally, we help them to make the right decision, thus creating a path for justice for aging prisoners.

What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?

Our challenge is to balance the very real suffering around us, the many needs that arise, and also maintain a vibrant, self-sufficient Zen community in an expensive, distracting urban environment.

January 21, 2016. Enkyo Roshi and the Village Zendo at the Women’s March in New York City.

Your main website URL

Your main contact email address for members

Learn more about Village Zendo by visiting their website, and visit to find more great work by our global affiliate network.  A complete list of our affiliated groups can be found here.

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Introducing ZPI Affiliate Group: Village Zendo

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