Meditation Instruction & Instructional Talks

Zen has always been a mentor-based tradition. Because we can get tangled in ideas about practice or become mired in obstructive mind states, Zen practitioners throughout the centuries have sought guidance to help them along the way. That guidance may come in the form of group or one-to-one meditation instruction as well as instructional Zen talks. Dates for each form of instruction below may be found on our home page and/or calendar.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Introduction to Zen Meditation

For those beginning Zen meditation, wanting a refresher, or new to practicing in the Rochester Zen Center lineage of Zen. This workshop covers meditation posture, types and use of meditation equipment, breathing, concentration, walking meditation,  and more.

Introductory workshops may be held in-person or online. Instruction starts promptly at 5:30 pm. We take a short break around 6:20, practice what we've learned at 6:30~8:00, then wrap up with tea and final questions until around 8:20 pm. We suggest a $10–$30 donation by cash, check, or Paypal. Email us to sign up. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Group Instruction

Group instruction is a question-and-answer session led by a senior student/instructor in an informal group setting. Those who have attended the Introduction to Zen Meditation workshop (or equivalent) are invited.

One of the great values of group instruction is that it isn't a group discussion period. Discussion occurs between the individual questioner and the instructor while others in the group remain silent. It can be immensely helpful to hear the Q&A of others, and because participants aren't talking to each other, there's no pressure to respond.

Private Instruction (daisan)

Daisan is a one-on-one meeting that may cover points about posture, breathing, and other instruction in Zen practice, or it may get into counseling-like territory. Those who have attended the Introduction to Zen Meditation workshop (or equivalent) are welcome to participate.

Members and non-members may receive daisan during Rochester Zen Center online sits on: (1) Fridays at 7-8 pm and (2) by request on Wednesdays at 7-8 am. Email Louisville Zen Center to schedule a Wednesday morning meeting and/or for RZC Zoom access. Members may schedule in-person or online daisan at other times, too.

Dharma Talk

Dharma talks are commentaries on some aspect of Buddhist or Zen teaching or on the connection between Zen meditation and daily life. They are delivered by a senior student/instructor during a formal block of sitting with listeners facing "out". Sometimes there is a question and answer session after the talk. 


Teisho are Dharma talks delivered by fully sanctioned teachers. There isn't a Q&A afterwards.

Encouragement Talk

These are shorter Dharma talks delivered by senior students or teachers with listeners facing the wall.