Next Meetup

Tues. PM Zazen (Meditation)
Meetup every Tuesday evening for 40-minute meditation practice. The meditation starts promptly at 7:00pm, so please plan to show up a few minutes early. Please note: If you are new to meditation practice (or new to BMZC) and you plan to attend this meetup, we'd like to make your first visit to BMZC as positive an experience as possible. So, if you are a first time visitor, please try to show up 15-20 minutes early, prior to the start of the meditation. Also, please let us know you will be attending for the first time by including this information in a comment for this meetup. We'd like to do our best to provide an orientation new meditators and first time visitors :) If you are new to meditation, you are strongly encouraged to also attend one (or more) of the meditation instruction sessions held every Saturday morning from 9:30am to 10:30am. To RSVP for meditation instruction, see our meetup for "Zazen Instruction." :) As an introductory guide to meditation practice, you may also find this information from our website helpful: There is no strict dress-code at BMZC. You are encouraged to wear loose or stretch clothing; for others' comfort, please wear muted colors, and try to avoid wearing strong fragrances. As you will remove your shoes to enter the zendo, you may want to wear socks (or not).

Beginner's Mind Zen Center

9325 Lasaine Avenue · Northridge, CA

What we're about

Welcome to the Beginner's Mind Zen Center Meetup!

BMZC is an established community of Zen practitioners. We have an active and engaged community of members, and a daily program of events and activities. VISIT OUR WEB SITE ( for complete information, tips on meditating, audio files of dharma talks, etc.

What to 'bring' to a sitting: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting, modest clothing. We have plenty of zabutons (mats) and zafus (round cushions), as well as additional support cushions and "specialty" shapes (crescents, e.g.). So most people don't need to bring a cushion. And if you want or need, you're welcome to meditate sitting in a chair... which we also have in abundance. If you need special cushions, or want to bring a throw/shawl, please do. Otherwise and always, just bring yourself!

Meetup RSVPs do not always reflect the full attendance at our events, which is always higher. In their practice with BMZC, regular attendees routinely show up and don't always RSVP... and not all our members participate in Meetup. :)

About BMZC ...

Beginner's Mind Zen Center is a neighborhood zendo in a quiet residential area near California State University at Northridge. It was established in 2003, and offers lay practitioners and interested individuals a daily program of meditation in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition as transmitted by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi. All are welcome to practice zen meditation at Beginner's Mind. No membership is required to participate. Activities include daily zazen and services, reading and discussion of key Buddhist texts, intensive pactice periods (sesshins) led by experienced teachers of Soto Zen Buddhism. The center also offers public talks by visiting Buddhist scholars and teachers from other Soto Zen centers. Teachers at Beginner's Mind

Peter and Jane Schneider were early students of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in the sixties. Both served as Suzuki-roshi's jisha (personal attendant) in the early years of the Tassajara Zen Mounain Center. Peter and Jane also assisted in transcription of his dharma talks for later publication. Following Suzuki-roshi's death, they accepted scholarships from the San Francisco Zen Center to study Buddhism in Japan. Peter and Jane lived and studied in Japan from 1973 to 1995. They founded the Beginner's Mind Zen Center (originally the Northridge Zen Center) in 2003. Peter and Jane are members of the American Zen Teacher's Association ( and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (

Yozen Peter Schneider first studied with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in 1962 and returned to continue in 1967. He served as the second director of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, as well as president of the San Francisco Zen Center. Peter received priest ordination from Suzuki-roshi in 1970. In 2002 he received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman-roshi ( of the Berkeley Zen Center (

Myokaku Jane Schneider studied with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi from 1967 until his death in 1971. She served as secretary for the San Francisco Zen Center. In 1973 Jane received priest ordination from Zentatsu Richard Baker-roshi. In September, 2008, she received dharma transmission from Myoan Grace Schireson, abbess of Empty Nest Zendo (, a dharma heir in the Suzuki-roshi tradition. Jane's writing has appeared in Seeds of Virtue, Seeds of Change: A Collection of Zen Teachings (Temple Ground Press, 2014) and The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women (Wisdom Publications, 2013).

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