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 proactice. 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. All are welcome!

For the past 2 years we have joined with the Bozeman Insight Community and the Dharmata Sangha to form the Bozeman Dharma Center – a common home for three thriving Buddhist sanghas along with other Buddhist offerings. We are grateful to be a part of a vibrant Buddhist Center.

 Our NEW Board of Directors 2016
Michãel Palmer and Joan Montagne continuing.
Welcome to Kerry Neal, Joanne Dornan and Ryan Niehaus!

Contact Us

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

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 and invited a dozen people interested in Zen practice, asking if they wanted to start a Zen sitting group. When they said “yes,” a group of us began sitting together on Monday evenings in the basement of her home, and evolved an evening program of sitting, chanting, and dharma discussion.

The Bozeman Zen Group has hosted a practice period with Layla Smith of the San Francisco Zen Center, a day sit with Gus Adams, a Zen priest from Missoula, ‘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 gave a talk on Buddhism to seventh graders at Sacajewea Middle School, reached out to the elder community, and donated food to the Gallatin Food bank. Our members have attended gatherings of sanghas at Tassajara Zen Monastery in California. We have invited many Zen teachers to offer talks, retreats and classes throughout the years.

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 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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