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 Tricia McFarlin
and Mike Keller
Sept. 1–Oct. 6, 2015

6 Tuesdays: 6:30–8:30 pm

The subject of this class is the teaching of the well–known Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck compiled in her book, Nothing Special: Living Zen. Joko is so grounded and practical that she seems to know intimately the interior life we all share. Her Zen teachings assume that by observing our present selves openly and honestly in the quiet of mindfulness, we see that everything is special.
Each evening will begin with a period of meditation followed by a discussion.
Copies of the text are 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.

picture of Tricia McFarlin

Tricia McFarlin is the President of the Board of Directors of HZC and holds a doctorate in English Literature. She teaches English Literature at Awty International School.

Living Zen
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.


Peaceful Abiding Practice Period

Led by Abbot Gaelyn Godwin and
Shuso/Head Student Shinji Mary Carol Edwards
June 1–July 12, 2015

picture of Gaelyn Godwin and Mary Edwards

The Summer Practice Period will focus on the 12–fold Chain of Causation, the Buddha’s profound teaching on how things come to be. Things, feelings, thoughts – – everything arises due to causes and conditions. How can our own practice and understanding harmonize with this truth?
The Practice Period is designed to bring regular meditation into your on–going daily work life. Participants will integrate their regular work schedule with morning and evening meditation.
The leaders will connect with all participants on a daily basis, and the practice period will suffuse the day.

Opening Ceremony: June 1 6:30 pm
One Day Sitting: June 20
Five Day Sesshin: July 7–12

The Teachers: Gaelyn Godwin is a Zen Priest and the Abbot of Houston Zen Center.
Mary Carol Edwards is a senior member of Houston Zen Center, a landscape artist and prairie restoration activist. She is the Shuso/Head Student of the Practice Period and will teach a class on the fundamental 12–fold Chain of Causation.

July Sesshin
The Practice Period concludes with a 5–day sesshin.
Everyone is welcome to attend this traditional sesshin. Practice Period participants – and others – can participate in all 5 days or 1 (or more) full days of the sesshin.

Download the Sesshin registration form here.


Shuso Ceremony/Ceremony of Dharma Inquiry
July 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm.
This ceremony invites all the participants and friends of the Center to question and celebrate the Shuso. It is a very important ceremony in the practice of Zen practitioners. Everyone is welcome to attend and ask a question.

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.