Montana Zen

  • Reading List

    This reading list is more introductory than in-depth, though many of the books listed here are classics that can be referred to again and again over a lifetime of practice and study. The list aims to offer works that represent the major, important areas of Buddhist teachings and major Buddhist traditions, yet are accessible and […]

  • Unwashable Bowls

    Unwashable Bowls June 2009 A couple of months ago in the San Francisco Chronicle there was an article about singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who was on tour, giving concerts again for the first time in many years. The story said, “He wouldn’t be returning to the stage at this point in his life if his ex-manager […]

  • Steady. Present. Today

    Steady. Present. Today Sonoma County, March 2006 Here is a Zen story: Master Ummon (Yunmen in Chinese; d. 949) said to the assembly: “I don’t ask you about before the fifteenth day; try to say something about after the fifteenth day.” Ummon himself answered for everyone: “Every day is a good day.” (Case 6, Blue […]

  • Mountain Root Sangha

    Mountain Root Sangha is a Zen practice group in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and the San Francisco Zen Center. We offer a regular schedule of zazen meditation and occasional weekend retreats and other events. We welcome beginners and seasoned practitioners alike, and those from other meditation traditions. Come join us for peaceful early morning […]

  • Other Practice Opportunities in Montana

    Bozeman Zen Group Bozeman Zen Group ( is a sangha of lay practitioners in Bozeman, Montana. We provide a supportive community for people interested in Zen practice. We sponsor a weekly schedule of seated meditation and dharma discussion, and several longer retreats a year. You’re welcome to participate whether you are a new or continuing […]

  • Teachers and Teachings

    For many years Layla Smith, Gyokujun Teishin (« Pure Forge, Pervading Heart ») has been coming regularly from her home in the San Francisco Bay Area to lead Zen retreats in Montana. Other sangha members and leaders are also increasingly assuming teaching responsibilities. Layla Smith (Gyokujun Teishin) « After studying psychology for three and a half years at Reed […]

  • About Us

    Montana Zen Meditation Center’s purpose is to facilitate opportunities for people to practice and study Zen Buddhism in Montana. Buddhist meditation and teachings are invaluable in helping people live lives of greater clarity and compassion, and we are committed to helping make the simplicity and serenity of Zen meditation and Zen practice available to anyone […]

  • Open Circle Sangha

    Open Circle sangha had its beginnings in 1984 when David Cooper invited people to meditate with him in his apartment on 5th Avenue in Helena. This group disbanded after a few months, but in 1989 a few people again began meeting weekly for meditation and discussion. Over the years there were many changes of venue, […]