Still Mind Zendo

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Still Mind Zendo
Denomination White Plum Asanga (Sōtō)
Founded 1994
Founder(s) Janet Jiryu Abels Sensei
Abbot(s) Janet Jiryu Abels Sensei
Gregory Hosho Abels Sensei
Address 37 West 17th Street, 6th Floor, New York, New York 10011
Country United States

Still Mind Zendo, a Zen meditation center formed in 1994, is in the Soto lineage of the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi and the White Plum Asanga. The founder and resident teacher of Still Mind Zendo, Sensei Janet Jiryu Abels, is a dharma successor of Roshi Robert Jinsen Kennedy as is Sensei Gregory Hosho Abels, the co-resident teacher at the center.

Still Mind Zendo emphasizes the practice of zazen (sitting meditation) above all else, recognizing it as a way for people to deepen their insight and realization of their essential self, which is nothing other than the realization of their lives. And because essential self or essential nature is not bound by the limitations of any religion or gender or path in life, people from all walks of life and from all religious or non-religious backgrounds are welcomed.

The singular commitment to zazen makes practice at Still Mind Zendo a simple one. Because the two teachers have chosen to be lay teachers and are not ordained as Zen priests, there are no services and robes are not worn. There is, however, deep commitment to the teachings of the ancestors; to the disciplines of the Way; to the attention to posture and detail; to the practice of being in the moment; and to the extension of that practice into every facet of life. Weekly dharma talks are given and dokusan or daisan (private teaching) is available, offering guidance in both zazen and koan study.

Understanding how daunting Zen often seems, simple, practical and accessible instruction is available, beginning with the bi-monthly Zen for Beginners program. Understanding how difficult is the continuation of Zen practice, Still Mind Zendo offers strong challenge and the support of caring and like-minded people. In addition to daily zazen (except for Sunday and Monday when the center is closed), weekend and week retreats (sesshin), study sessions and related workshops are offered.

Sensei Janet Jiryu Abels, founder of Still Mind Zendo, has been a Zen teacher since 2000 prior to which she was in private practice as a spiritual director for 15 years, also working as a community organizer and peace activist. She is married to Sensei Gregory Abels and they are the parents of a grown daughter.

Sensei Gregory Hosho Abels is co-resident teacher at Still Mind Zendo. As well as being a Zen teacher, he has enjoyed a 50 year career as an actor, theatre director and Master Teacher of Acting and is also a poet, his writing being informed by his Zen practice.

The zendo is located at 37 W. 17th Street in Manhattan. A schedule and further details can be found at Still Mind Zendo is a not-for-profit organization in the State of New York run by a Board of Directors made up of members.

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Coordinates: 40°44′19.82″N 73°59′38.56″W / 40.7388389°N 73.9940444°W / 40.7388389; -73.9940444