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

Beginning in September, the practice at the Des Moines Zen Center (DMZC) will follow the CDC’s most recent guidance and request all participants attending in-person practice to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. This is to help mitigate the spread of the Delta variant. According to the CDC information, the community transmission rate for Polk County (where the DMZC is located) is high. The CDC recommends all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask when indoors if in an area of high or substantial community transmission.

In addition to the above, the DMZC will continue its practices of social distancing and air circulation.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, we request that you join us virtually via Zoom rather than in-person.