Meditation Instruction

Zen has always been a mentor-based tradition, and it can be helpful to talk to those who might be further along on the path. Louisville Zen Center offers different types of meditation instruction - private and public, individual and group, formal and informal.  It is good to seek instruction periodically to stay on track in your practice.

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

For those new to Zen meditation, wanting a refresher, or new to practicing with Louisville Zen Center. We cover meditation posture, types and use of meditation equipment, breathing, concentration, walking meditation, integrating Zen practice with daily life, and finding and working with a teacher or other spiritual friend. Here is the handout we'll reference. 

Instruction starts promptly at 5:15 p.m. so please arrive early. Out of respect for participants' time and the evening schedule, latecomers may be turned away.  ​We take a short break at 6:15, practice with others 6:30 - 8:00, then wrap up with tea and final questions until 8:15 pm. Contact us to sign up.

​​Louisville Zen Center operates as much as possible on dana (or giving).  We suggest non-members give $10 or more via the Paypal button when attending the Intro. to Zen but any contribution, large or small, is much appreciated.  No one is EVER turned away for lack of payment. To make an ongoing commitment while supporting the mission of the Center, please consider membership.

Finding Your Seat

​Finding Your Seat (FYS) is a friendly, informal, group discussion of matters like posture, breath and first-koan practices, Center procedures, maintaining a habit of daily sitting, and keeping your Zen practice moving along.  Hosted by Rochester Zen Center (RZC), our group leader facilitates FYS on occasional Saturdays at 11 am - noon in one of RZC's Zoom rooms.  Facilitators answer questions, offer advice and encouragement, and lead a short round of sitting. Contact Louisville ZC or Rochester ZC for Zoom access.

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

Those who have attended the Introduction to Zen Meditation workshop (or equivalent) are welcome to attend group instruction, individualized instruction and guidance in a group setting.

​To participate, at the appropriate time, go to the designated room and sit facing the group instructor. Participants ask questions and receive responses one person at a time.  You may ask anything at all - about the Zen Center, meditation posture, breath practice, first-koan practice, mindfulness in everyday affairs, even personal matters are o.k.  Others in the group remain silent until their turn to speak.  Instruction can even be given to a single individual if group instruction is announced and only one person attends.

Unlike Finding Your Seat, group instruction is not a group discussion period; attendees are not talking to each other. Discussion occurs between the individual questioner and the group instructor.  Because it can be so helpful to hear others' questions and responses, participants are urged to maintain confidentiality and to avoid discussing what occurred during group instruction.

Private Instruction 

Private instruction (daisan) is a one-to-one teaching encounter in private given by a senior student. Parameters for what is discussed in private instruction are quite broad. Private instruction may cover points about posture and breathing and other basic instruction in Zen practice, or it may get into counseling-like territory. Those who have attended our Introduction to Zen and group instruction are welcome.


​​Advising is a one-to-one interaction with our group leader to address matters that may be too complex, time-consuming, or personal for formal sittings or group settings. You may bring up anything at all during advising, and confidentiality shall be respected unless required to do otherwise by law.  Because, this type of individualized instruction and guidance is informal and unstructured – sometimes simply a check-in over tea - it is scheduled outside of sittings. 

Advising may be conducted in-person, on Zoom, or by phone. Those who have attended the Introduction to Zen (or equivalent), group instruction, and private instruction may participate. Contact Louisville Zen Center for an appointment.