Mission Statement

The mission of the Bozeman Zen Group is to support the practice of Zen Buddhism. A group of lay practitioners, we come together to encourage and inspire each other to be mindful and compassionate in our everyday lives. We provide regular opportunities for Zen practice and education in Southwestern Montana.

We are open to all who are interested in Zen and even those curious about basic Buddhist practice. We are currently affiliated with Branching Streams, an organization of sanghas in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of the San Francisco Zen Center. Several of our members work with Zen teachers of other lineages. We are one of the resident sanghas at the Bozeman Dharma Center. All are welcome!

 Our Board of Directors 2018
Kerry Neal, Joanne Dornan, Sandi Simons and Joan Montagne.

We offer a grateful goodbye to Ryan Niehaus – thanks for your service. An especially heartfelt thank you and goodbye to Michãel Palmer who has served faithfully for more than six years. Your service has enriched us all.

Contact Us

Bozeman Zen Group
P.O. Box 1951
Bozeman, MT 59771
406.600.0918/email: Bozeman Zen Group

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Our History

Senior Dharma Teacher,Tenshin Reb Anderson, of the San Francisco Zen Center, led a retreat in Bozeman in February 1999. He came at Wendy Roberts’ invitation after she attended a practice period at Green Gulch Zen Center.

In October 1999 Wendy held a potluck with a dozen people interested in Zen practice, and a group of us began sitting together on Monday evenings in the basement of her home. This evolved into a morning and an evening program of sitting, chanting, and dharma discussion.

The Bozeman Zen Group has hosted a practice period with Layla Smith and another with Marcia Lieberman of the San Francisco Zen Center. We have offered many weekend retreats with Zen teachers in several lineages, ‘all Buddhist’ picnics in Bozeman, a yoga workshop for sitters, a New Year’s Eve sit in a Mongolian yurt, Qigong practices, and several Buddha’s Birthday celebrations complete with children, flowers and cake!
Karen DeCotis and Mel WeitsmanWe also have extended our activities in service to the community – reaching teens, elders and low-income residents.  Our members have attended gatherings of sanghas at Tassajara Zen Monastery in California.

We were pleased to be joined in 2002 by Karen DeCotis of the Berkeley Zen Center. Her teacher, Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi, has recognized her as a lay teacher, giving her permission to teach, train, and lead extended periods of Zen practice. She has practiced for over 30 years, and is a member of the Lay Zen Teachers Association. Karen recently ordained as a priest in the Soto lineage and firmly holds for the sangha the twin aims of formal temple practice along with lay life.

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