Classes at Houston Zen Center are taught by the Abbot, Gaelyn Godwin, and by senior members of HZC. There is a modest charge for classes but scholarships are readily available. No one is turned away for lack of funds. The Tanto, Kogen Glen Duval will answer any questions about costs and scholarships.

Classes are open to everyone and are generally designed for all levels of practice experience from beginners to experienced meditators, unless otherwise specified in the class description.

led by Abbot Gaelyn Godwin &
Kenkai Brandon Lamson
Jan. 5–Feb. 9, 2016

6 Tuesdays: 6:30–8:30 pm

This is an intermediate level class that explores the history of Zen as this dynamic and transformative practice migrated from East to West. On this journey, compelling questions arise: Where did Zen come from? What is Buddhism? What are koans? These are several of the fundamental issues we will study as this course develops.
Each class will begin with a period of meditation that will ground us and enhance our experiential understanding of these teachings.

Orange Zen

Gaelyn Godwin is the Abbot of Houston Zen Center.
Brandon Kenkai Lamson is a lay ordained Zen practitioner. Dr. Lamson is also a poet and professor of creative writing.

Zen: A History
led by Mike Keller
Oct. 14–Nov. 25, 2015

6 Wednesdays: 6:30–8:30 pm

This class is an exploration of a text by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche.
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior focuses on dharma talks describing a process of inner growth that starts with intuition of one’s basic worth and goodness, acquired through meditation.
It is the Bodhisattva path but presented in a secular rather than a religious context. Trungpa hopes that through this practice, ‘the goodness in everyone’s heart can be realized without doubt.’

Each evening begins with a period of meditation followed by a discussion. The text is available for purchase at the Center.

picture of Mike Keller

Mike Keller is a long time practitioner of meditation. His experience includes practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Green Gulch Farm, as well as extensive study in Sufism. He holds a doctorate in English Literature.

Sacred Path
picture of Jukai Ceremony at Houston Zen Center

Calendar of Events
Check what’s coming in future months:

This Coming Events Calendar is updated frequently.


November 29 - December 6, 2015
Deepen meditation practice photo of Royce Johnson signalling for meditation and gather the mind during this 7–day intensive meditation practice led by Abbot Gaelyn Godwin.
Sesshin begins Sunday night at 7:00 pm. The hours Monday – Saturday are 5:30 am – 9:00 pm. Sesshin comes to an end after the ceremony of Buddha’s Enlightenment at noon on Sunday December 6.
Download the Registration Form here.
If this is your first sesshin with HZC, please email Kogen Glen Duval, or call the Center 713–869–1952.
Participation in part of the sesshin is possible if you cannot join for the entire 7 days. Participation in at least 2 one–day sittings is required before joining this sesshin.

You may send a check with your registration application or use PayPal options, below.
$195 plus $70 for housing. HZC Member price is $95 plus $35 for housing. Partial participation is $40 per day/$30 for members. Oryoki bowls are available for rental ($15 for sesshin, $6 per day) or purchase $45. Three partial scholarships are available. Email Parmita, to inquire about a partial scholarship.

Rohatsu Sesshin
8 Mondays, October 5 - November 23, 6:30p-8:30pm

Houston Zen Center is honored to host Dialogue: Racism photo of people presented by the Center for Healing Racism.
The eight–week program provides a safe, respectful, and loving environment where participants can explore the issues of racism, learn new information, share experiences, dispel fears and guilt, get to know each other, and come together.

Information is provided by facilitators on defining racism, where it originates, how it’s perpetuated, and positive ways to overcome and heal.
Participants are then encouraged to dialogue with guidelines that promote deep listening and understanding.
Registration is free and open to the public, and donations to the Center for Healing Racism are encouraged.
For more information about the program, visit Center for Healing Racism, or call 713.520.8226.

Seats are limited, so register early!
To register online, click here: REGISTRATION for Dialogue: Racism at HZC.

enso drawing by Kaz Tanahashi
Zen Practice for a focused group of Practitioners

September 2015 – April 2016

Led by HZC Assistant Teachers Kogen Glen Duval, Hokyo Louise Dreyfus and Peaceful Forest Tim Schorre.

Prerequisite: 6 months attendance at HZC events or permission of Instructors.
For people who are ready to deepen practice with the support of a Sangha (community of practitioners) within the larger Sangha, Zen Center offers an extended program that introduces a full range of practice.
The course extends over 3 sections, or semesters. We recommend that everyone begin at the beginning.

The first meeting is Sunday, September 13, 1–4 pm
We will gather to meet the teachers and each other. Thereafter, we will meet:

  • One Sunday afternoon per month
  • One evening meeting monthly for 1.5 hours
  • Twice monthly peer group meetings
  • Individual Practice Discussion throughout the program
  • Large group meetings
  • Evening classes

Applications are available at the Center and by request from Kogen Glen Duval.
Cost: $200/semester basic fee; $80/semester members of HZC for 3 months or more.