Open Door Zen Community

A Zen Practice Community in Madison, Wisconsin

“What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”

– Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Zazen – upright sitting in stillness and silence – is the foundation of our practice. At the heart of our practice community is our shared commitment to compassionate inquiry, mutual care, and deep gratitude, demonstrated through our everyday actions, words and thoughts. Through this practice we support our aspiration to hold open the door to the timeless wisdom of Buddha’s Way.

Our Statement on Healing Racial Oppression and Social Injustice

As Zen practitioners, we are keenly aware of the disproportionate racial violence and social injustice committed by institutions and individuals, both consciously and unconsciously, against Black, Brown, Indigenous, American Asian-Pacific Islanders, LatinX, LGBTQI+ people and all those who experience intersecting oppression across the United States and the world. At this juncture in our history, there is an urgency for us – individually and collectively – to stay awake to the fact that, while the cornerstones of our democracy were lofty ideals regarding justice and equality, the harsh reality is that racial oppression and violence have been part of our country’s culture from its birth.

Our Zen practice calls us to action, to transform toxic views and hateful acts that feed the delusion of separation and inequality, and result in violence, social injustice and systemic oppression.

By looking deeply, as individuals and as a community, we can engage the collective wisdom and energy of the sangha to be our foundation for Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Mindfulness, and Right Insight; socially engaged actions that can help heal ourselves and the world.

By taking a stand against racism in any form, and by standing with the Black Lives Matter movement, we commit to speaking out and taking action on behalf of all beings, aligning ourselves with actions that end suffering for all.