Soji Zen Center

"The center has evolved into a bigger sangha that includes people that travel from Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. We continue to work together in the center as well as reaching out to the community ..."

Wanderlust Weekly: Congrats on the growth of Soji Zen Center! What inspired its creation? Shuzen: Over the years I’ve raised the question in various Buddhist settings: “Why aren’t there people of color present? Why isn’t there a wider representation of people of different educational backgrounds?” My fellow teachers would nod and agree that as Buddhists we need to reach out to people of color and different socioeconomic classes. But that’s as far as it went. My mission has been and still is to make the dharma available to everyone regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status. 

Wanderlust Weekly: You've built a strong community following in Pennsylvania, what are some of your proudest moments? Shuzen: When our current location was secured, the small sangha came together and turned a former dog grooming facility into a Zen temple in one day. The center has evolved into a bigger sangha that includes people that travel from Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. We continue to work together in the center as well as reaching out to the community e.g. prison work, hospice, food donations to a food bank, teaching Tai Chi to seniors and the list goes on!. 

Wanderlust Weekly: We wish you continued success in 2017, what upcoming news or developments can we look forward to? Shuzen: With the uncertainty and troubling times in our country and the world, Soji emphasizes that we are ONE BODY. We continue to open hearts and listen to the cries of the world with ears of wisdom and determination. We give this care by meditating, participating in retreats, workshops and study groups and practicing together.  [ learn more ]