Getting Started

Getting Started


Getting Started at Windhorse Zen Community

Beginning a Zen practice at Windhorse is quite simple: send an email and/or give us a call (contact info below) to schedule a first sitting at the center in Alexander, NC, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Asheville.

We ask everyone, whatever their background in practice, to go through a basic orientation, which generally takes about 45 minutes.

The best time for new people to come ​for this ​is usually on Sunday morning at 8:45, before the 9:30-11:30 program of zazen meditation and dharma talk. If that doesn’t work for you, we can arrange to meet before a Tuesday or Thursday evening sitting, which begins at 7:00 pm.

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Although there is no specific charge for these orientations, we depend on and are grateful for all donations (dana).

Periodically we offer a full Saturday workshop at the center, which is really the best way to start one’s practice. These workshops give a far more comprehensive introduction to Zen: its background, teachings and practice, as well as more in-depth help with zazen postures, both sitting and walking. Since these workshops occur only a few times in the year, however, we offer these much briefer orientations during the week, to give people the chance to get started without going through a long waiting period.

Our schedule includes daily meditation, chanting, retreats, workshops, ceremonies and other sangha events. Residential training of shorter or longer periods is also available for those interested in immersing themselves more fully in an integrated form of practice.

A final suggestion: Anyone interested in practicing at Windhorse might want to take a look at The Three Pillars of Zen, by Philip Kapleau, who was Lawson and Sunya’s Zen teacher for decades. Most libraries have at least one copy available.

Windhorse Zen Community
580 Panther Branch Rd
Alexander, NC 28701