Intro to Zen

Recently, the Des Moines Zen Center held a series of five classes on the introduction to mindfulness and Zen practice. The class was held over a series of five weeks. The feedback was tremendous. As a result, we plan to offer another course in the Fall. To learn more, pay attention to upcoming announcements on our website and in our monthly newsletter for the information and dates for the course.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zen Center offered a 2-hour Intro to Zen class once a month.  The class was suspended during the pandemic and has not been restarted, until now!

Another class will be offered in the Fall 2024.  Rather than a one-time, 2-hour class, this version will be consist of a series of 5 classes.  The intent of having a series of classes is to hopefully allow participants to meet and build new relationships with people of similar interests by repeatedly interacting with each other each week.  Having a series of classes also emphasizes the importance of dedication and consistency in Zen practice. 

The classes will include instruction in Zen meditation, the cultivation of mindfulness following the ancient teaching on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, and how to apply these teachings in our everyday lives, giving us peace, confidence, and stability in whatever we are doing and manifesting our best to others.

The classes will be co-taught by the DMZC’s head teacher, Rev. Eishin Tom Houghton, and lay entrusted teacher, Tina Yudo Thornberry.  Each class will focus on one of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.  Each class will include periods of Zen meditation (i.e. zazen), a presentation by the teachers on one of the Four Foundations, suggested assignments for the following week intended to practice the Foundation discussed, and a sharing by participants of their experiences practicing the Foundations and zazen.  The hope is that each class is very interactive between participants and teachers.  Participants are encouraged to attend all classes to make the most of building relationships and practicing consistency.

The DMZC operates exclusively on free-will donations.  A suggested donation for the series of 5 classes is $50, although no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  To register, please email [email protected] with your intent to attend the class.

In addition, as a complement to the class, the Newcomer Orientation Video below illustrates Zen practice at the Des Moines Zen Center.