The purpose of human life is just to plant good seeds day by day.  That’s enough.  If we do this, we create human culture; we can leave a wonderful culture, not only for us and for the people around us but for people from generation to generation.

Dainin Katagiri
Japanese Founder of Des Moines Zen Center Lineage

The purpose of the Zen Center is to provide a place where people can examine their lives, their intentions, their relationship to the world.  The ultimate solution to the problems facing our world is a foundational change in each of our individual lives, a change in our attitude, facing our own greed, anger, and delusion and converting these into generosity, lovingkindness, and wisdom.  The Zen Center provides a place where this transformation can be practiced, taught, and supported.

Eido Espe, Head Teacher
Des Moines Zen Center


The Des Moines Zen Center (DMZC) is committed to inclusivity and diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religions. The practice of sitting quietly with yourself, surrounded and supported by others doing the same, can benefit everyone.

COVID-19 Update

The Des Moines Zen Center will be fully open beginning on July 4, 2021. 

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that no special considerations are needed for fully vaccinated people, we have established the following policies with regard to COVID-19:

  • New, high quality filters that trap virus particles will be used in the heating and air conditioning units throughout our facility.
  • Although the air conditioner or heater may be running, windows within the zendo will be open to facilitate circulation during in-person meditation and events.
  • The meditation cushions will remain separated as much as possible to facilitate social distancing.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, masking will be at your own discretion.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and choose to participate in person, we will request that you wear a mask.
  • If you are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, we request that you join us remotely, rather than in person, until you are certain that you are not infected.