Author Archive for Ryuko Shragge

Village Zendo Arts

Feb. 27, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Welcome to the VZ Arts web page!

VZ Arts aims to embody the name of our zendo “Dotoku-ji” (True Expression Temple) through the practice of various art forms, including visual art, music, film and theatre. VZ Arts aspires to unite the artists of our sangha; to plan special events such as concerts, art openings, poetry readings and art study groups; and to create a unique community arts space guided by the themes of our Zen Buddhist practice.

All of our events are planned and produced by Village Zendo sangha members and are directed towards the interests of our Zen community. If you have an idea for an event that would benefit our group, then please contact

Upcoming Events:

2012-14 Events:


2010-11 Events:

David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir VZ Arts welcomed the internationally-acclaimed musician and artist for a rare two-day visit which included a haunting concert and an intimate all-day workshop. David Hykes’s deep choral chants and environments were most recently featured in Terrence Malick’s 2011 film “Tree of Life”. (read more)
VZ Arts was honored to host Sensei Kaz Tanahashi,the renowned calligrapher, translator, and peacemaker, for a wonderful weekend of art and dharma. His visit included a live art-making benefit evening with a book signing, a full day workshop, and a dharma talk. (read more)
VZ Arts hosted “An Evening of Music of the Heart” with Amir Vahab, one of New York’s most celebrated and distinguished composers/vocalists of Persian sacred and folk music. Amir and his ensemble performed songs with lyrics selected from the poetry of the great Sufi Masters Rumi and Hafez, as well as folkloric songs from different parts of Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan. (read more)
VZ Arts hosted Sweetcakes Enso, a traveling art exhibit started by the Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, NY. Artists from many different sanghas were invited to join the show, which traveled and went on display at Zen centers and Buddhist communities all over the country. The Village Zendo hosted the show’s third stop, and included a lively panel discussion that featured artists Max Gimblett, Emma Tapley, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Robyn Ellenbogen and art historian/curator Catherine Spaeth. (read more)
The Village Zendo Arts Festival included sangha visual artists, writers, poets and musicians all embodying our directive of “true expression”.  This two-day event started with an art opening of drawings, paintings, photography and sculpture, followed by an open mic poetry reading. The following day the zendo was open as an art gallery,  finishing in the evening with a night-club atmosphere featuring world-class jazz musician and sangha member Jeremy Tokuyu Manasia and his trio, plus surprise guests. Featured artist included: A. Jesse Jiryu Davis, Emma Seiki Tapley, Jaime Denko Apraez, Julie Myoko Terestman, Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat, R. Liam Oshin Jennings, Ross Bleckner, Sam Clayton and Timothy KanSho Reynolds (read more)
Poet, professor, performer, and cultural activist Anne Waldman read at the Zendo, as part of the Village Zendo Benefit Reading Series. The series featured many important and emerging professional poets and writers. VZ Arts is planning more poet and writer visits in the future. The Zendo is one of the greatest spaces in New York City to hear poets and writers read their work in a refined and intimate atmosphere. (read more)
For the winter holidays the Village Zendo was transformed into the “Hello Zen” Holiday Market. Sangha members and friends came together for a festive holiday market fundraiser filled with crafts and great food. VZ Arts is planning future marketplace events. If you are a crafter or artisan and are making items that would be appropriate for our spirtual community, please contact Musho.
Grand Master Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin has honored the Village Zendo with intimate solo recitals on the Japanese Shakuhachi flute. He is a Zen teacher and infuses his masterful traditional playing with fresh down-to-earth insight. He plays, it is said, with “a mother’s heart” — an attitude of selflessness and nurturing. (read more)

For programing please contact: