Become a Member

Welcome to the Zen Center of Los Angeles!

One of the first residential Zen Centers in the United States, ZCLA was founded in 1967 by Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931-1995), a seminal figure in the development of Zen Buddhism in the West. ZCLA is a Soto Zen Buddhist Temple in the White Plum Lineage, a unique Zen family that utilizes zazen, koan introspection, and contemporary skillful means for awakened living.

ZCLA includes Buddha Essence Temple, the liturgical and ceremonial component, and Great Dragon Mountain, the Zen training component. Roshi Bernie Tetsugen Glassman, Abbot Emeritus, is the co-founder of the Zen Peacemakers. ZCLA’s current Abbot and Head Teacher is Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao.

For more information on the teachers, see here.

The Zen Center of Los Angeles Membership

To get to know our Zen Center, you are invited to attend our introductory classes, zazen, Dharma talks, and to speak with our teachers and other members. We encourage you to get to know the Zen Center’s practices and participants, so that you can assess whether Great Dragon Mountain is appropriate for your spiritual practice. Don’t hesitate to ask questions before making this decision.

What does it mean to be a member at ZCLA?

Membership strengthens the bond between you and the Zen Center. The sangha and teachers provide a strong support for practice. By becoming a member, you become a steward of the Sangha, thereby entering a practicing community that is committed to supporting you in living the awakened life. We provide a wide range of programs dedicated to practice.

Membership includes numerous practice and financial benefits.

Membership Benefits

As a member of the Zen Center you will:

  • have a place for consistent practice of zazen. We offer a weekday and weekend schedule of zazen and service,
  • participate in private interviews with the Zen Center’s teachers (Roshi only sees members in the Practicing category or above),
  • have access to an assigned experienced practitioner for guidance at the beginning of your membership,
  • enjoy Zen Center library privileges
  • enjoy member’s rates for most Zen Center events,
  • have a discount for guest accommodations,
  • have access to the member’s section of the ZCLA website where you will find Dharma Talks, liturgy, and other teaching files to download.

Membership income is mutually sustaining for both the Zen Center and its members. Your contribution helps support a resident teacher, the staff, and the buildings and grounds.

For membership application form, please click here.

For more information, please contact us.

For categories and fee structure see here.