Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Winter Ango 2013

Jan. 1, 2013 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

December 26, 2012 – March 24, 2013

Ango means “peaceful dwelling.” It is a time when the sangha comes together for a period of intensified practice and commitment.

The Village Zendo’s winter ango began on December 26th and will continue through March 24th. Please join us in zazen, study and joyful attention to our day-to-day life.

Here is what you’ll need to enter our winter ango:

Should you have any questions, please contact Oshin at Thank you for your practice.

Village Zendo Matching Grant

Dec. 11, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Please remember the Village Zendo in your charitable contributions. Each and every donation makes a difference.  And from now through January 31st, 2014 your contribution goes even further thanks to a generous $20,000 matching grant from one of our donors.

Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity and giving as generously as you can.  Your donation helps ensure the financial strength and stability of the Village Zendo now and in the years to come.

Summer 2012 Ango: video by Yuuka

Sep. 6, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Elena Yuuka TaJo has made this lovely video collage of this summer’s retreat:

New Precepts Page

Apr. 4, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

With Bokushu’s help we’ve posted a new precepts page and PDF unifying the 16 Precepts and commentaries by Bodhidharma, Dogen, and the Zen Peacemakers.

Registration Is Open for 2012 Summer Ango

Apr. 3, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

The registration form is now available for summer ango. Please fill it out and make out a check for your deposit, and drop them off at the Zendo or mail to Village Zendo, 588 Broadway, Suite 1108, NY NY 10012.

PDF download Summer Ango 2012 Registration Form

The Ango Commitment Form will be online later. Questions?:

Work For Dharma 2012

Mar. 10, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Work For Dharma Day: March 20, 2012

Dear Sangha Members and Friends of the Village Zendo,

“Seventy-two labors brought us this food . . .” Each time we chant the meal gatha we remind ourselves of the labor of beings throughout the world that makes it possible for us to nourish ourselves and sustain our lives.

The same interdependence applies to our sitting practice. The zazen that sustains us is made possible by the efforts of innumerable beings–the hands that sew the cushions, the teachings of Buddhas and ancestors that light the way, the warm hearts and sincere effort of our fellow practitioners. And in a very direct way, our practice space is made possible by the generosity of the members and friends of the Village Zendo.

More than 25 years ago we found our first practice space through the generosity of Enkyo Roshi and Joshin Sensei when they opened their home to a small, dedicated group of practitioners. As the sangha grew, so did the need for support not just by a few of us but by the whole community. This year, as we look back on nearly a decade spent in practice spaces at 588 Broadway, the support of the community matters more than ever. Our lease will expire in 2013 and, as all of us know, rents in lower Manhattan go in only one direction. Our ability to maintain our practice space depends on each one of us.

That’s why we ask you to respond generously to Work for Dharma Day, the Village Zendo’s spring fundraising appeal. Work for Dharma Day is an opportunity for each of us, no matter our occupation or walk of life, to nourish the life of the Zendo and the practice of its sangha. To participate in Work for Dharma Day, simply pledge to donate all or a portion of the income you earn on Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring, to the Village Zendo. No amount is too small or too large. We all participate equally. We each contribute to the innumerable labors that make it possible to sustain a thriving spiritual community in the heart of New York City.

A pledge form and envelope are enclosed or, if you prefer, you can donate online at JustGive. On behalf of Enkyo Roshi, Joshin Sensei and the entire Village Zendo teaching staff, we thank you for the generosity that will sustain the Village Zendo sangha now and for many years to come.

In gassho,

Randall Ryotan Eiger, Sensei

Sinclair Shinryu Thomson, Sensei

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:

Clemency For Judy Clark – The Right Thing To Do

Jan. 14, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Judith Clark (photo: Nan Goldin)Photo: Nan Goldin

Please join us in supporting Judy Clark’s appeal for clemency.

After serving 30 years in prison, Judy Clark deserves freedom and the opportunity to rejoin society. Behind bars, Judy entered the belly of the whale, as she put it, and through the difficult work of deep atonement and self reflection she found herself; she is no longer the same person who committed the crime all those years ago. Instead, Judy has become a model of wise and compassionate action in the world.

We believe her release will not only benefit Judy herself but society as a whole. Her release will also exemplify the values of rehabilitation, transformation, and forgiveness—characteristics of a just, wise, and compassionate world. In March 2012, after the release of a NY Sunday Times Magazine article written by Tom Robbins, the Village Zendo held an event to raise awareness on her behalf at Judson Memorial Church with over 145 attendees. More than 100 clemency letters were written and we raised about $1000 for her legal fund. Many letters from various sources were generated at that time as well. There was much energy and hope for clemency in the year immediately following the article, which sadly has not occurred. No response yet from the Governor’s office. So we are now in a quieter period of waiting and continuing to plant seeds and generate awareness in whatever ways we can. Recently Judy’s lawyer Sara Bennett published Spirit on the Inside, a book of portraits, photos and stories of just some of the many women Judy affected during her incarceration.

Much of the unfairness of the criminal justice system depends upon those on the outside simply forgetting about and giving up on those incarcerated. It is so important to not let that happen. Go to her website at for much more information, including her writing, and links to the NY Sunday Times article by Tom Robbins and a Guardian article by Eve Ensler. Spirit on the Inside is available digitally or in print.

We encourage everyone to write a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to grant clemency to Judy. If you’ve already done so, it is still critically important to continue spreading the word getting others to write. Unjust sentencing is one of this country’s darkest shames. Judy Clark is one of thousands presently lost in the system. We have provided three model letters for those who would prefer to use one of those. Please send a copy of your letter to Governor Cuomo to Judy’s lawyer at

3 Suggested Model Letters

Winter Ango 2012

Jan. 13, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Ango means “peaceful dwelling.” It is a time when the sangha comes together for a period of intensified practice and commitment.

The Village Zendo’s winter ango began on December 26th and will continue through March 25th. Please join us in zazen, study and joyful attention to our day-to-day life.

Here is what you’ll need to enter our winter ango:

Should you have any questions, please contact Soshin at Thank you for your practice.

Roshi’s book, “Ten Talks on the Heart Sutra” available now

Jan. 11, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

This wonderful book is $18 including tax and shipping.

Contact to place your order.