Zen Center


    a living tradition

To Shine One Corner of the World

Founded in 1990, the Detroit Zen Center is a full time, inner-city center and community.  We are located in the center of Detroit, in a heavily urban, diverse 2.5 square mile City-district called Hamtramck.  Monastics & resident students live on-site.

Zen practice is an effort to open & foster a shift in our consciousness & lifestyle.  It is a return to a natural, joyful state where we no longer choose to consume beyond our basic needs. Zen students take care of themselves, one another, the planet -- all things in this world-- & develop the courage to make the changes they choose to make in their lives, for the happiness and well-being of themselves and the world.

As an organization, the Detroit Zen Center aims to model sustainable community in the center of Hamtramck & Detroit.  Our Abbot and founder is Hwalson Sunim.  Resident monks, students & volunteers have devoted 30 years to shining this corner of the world.  We offer a daily schedule of meditation, apprenticeship, volunteer projects, retreats, Templestay, a public green roof, reclaimed gardens, & plant-based meals & service.  

The Center's mission is to provide a place for the practice of Zen, Meditation & a Community.   We work to support what is good for all beings, to 'shine one corner of the world'. Our work to stabilize & model sustainability in our neighborhood reflects Zen philosophy.  Our City Center is the heart of our work, while we also have a Retreat Center in the mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Membership is open to the public.  Members ensure our survival.  While there are no attendance requirements, members have access to a daily schedule of meditation, monthly retreats, apprenticeship, dharma stewardship & more.  We offer a 2 week trial membership at no cost.  Beyond that, a suggested monthly donation begins at $30/month.  Membership benefits & details HERE.

Members may also become formal students of the monastic teachers.  Please inquire for more information.

For the public we offer meditation instruction, Templestay, retreats, plant based meals, a green-roof, rain garden & tea house.  Most of our offerings for the public are on hold due to Covid.  


A good place to start is to register for a ZOOM Tuesday Beginner's Meditation & talk.  Please contact us if you have Tuesday night obligations, or REGISTER HERE.

Covid-19:  We have a limited in-person schedule for members, and public ZOOM meditations.  Covid precautions &  SCHEDULE HERE.

Intro to Zen 

  • meditation instruction

  • talk, discussion

7-8 PM  

$10 donation requested

(free for members)

After attending a Tuesday introduction, we welcome you to sign up for any of our daily meditations & enjoy trial membership.

Weekend Zen Retreat

4/22-4/25 in the U.P. (Cloud Mountain Hermitage)

details in link below