Princeton Area Zen Group

Other Information

Membership and Fees: In order to maintain itself, the Zen group must be financed by its members (including the teachers) through regular monthly dues. Teachers are exempt from retreat fees. We strongly appreciate contributions from non-members at our weekly sittings. The non-member suggested donation for students is $3, $5 for all others, or whatever you can give us to help defray our rent and the cost of cushions and other supplies. Lack of a donation, though, will not be a barrier for anyone wishing to come sit with us.

The monthly donation for members is $30. Membership is encouraged for anyone wishing to make a commitment to a regular meditation practice. Please discuss the possibility of membership with one of our teachers.

We will be instituting an "affiliate" level of membership for members who cannot sustain a regular commitment to the group yet wish to stay connected and join us remotely once a month. Affiliate membership donation is $15 a month, and free for students. If this would suit your situtation, please discuss the possibiity with one of our teachers.

Meeting Location: We meet at Fellowship in Prayer, 291 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ.

Parking: There are a handful of parking spots in the lot behind the Fellowship in Prayer building and on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.

Meeting Times: Sundays, 7 to 9 pm. Please arrive early to allow time to arrange your cushions or seat, since opening ceremonies start promptly at 7 pm. Newcomers should arrive at 6:30 (please be on time) for instruction, followed by regular sitting. For affiliate members joining us virtually, please make sure you're in a quite place when you join, and please log on before 7 pm so you can be admitted into the virtual space. Do not forget to mute your microphone during meditation periods.

Cushions: Meditation cushions are a necessary acquisition for anyone committing to a regular meditation practice. We have limited storage space currently, and while we can offer cushions to those who have not yet acquired a set, we recommend purchasing cushions to use at home and to bring with you on Sunday evenings. Following are some links to online vendors who sell complete cushion sets (zafu and zabuton) and other meditation supplies: Zafu Store, Dharmacrafts, Samadhi Cushions, and the Monastery Store.

Masking: Masking is not required currently in the zendo. If you would prefer attendees be masked or that the teacher be masked for dokusan, please alert one of the zendo leaders.

Contacts: By phone, Donald 609-510-3909 and Paul 908-809-3400; by email,

Leadership Roles in the Zen Community: While the responsibilities regarding matters of Zen practice rest with the teachers, all administrative responsibilities rotate among the membership. The leadership roles necessary to run the Zen group are created and voluntarily taken on by members of the Zen community.

Meditation Retreats: We hold several 3- to 5-day meditation retreats (sesshin) throughout the year in addition to frequent
1 day retreats (zazenkai).

Additional Activities: Time, energy, and resources permitting, the Princeton Area Zen Group seeks to provide additional Zen-related activities, like introductions to newcomers, monthly membership meetings, discussions of Zen topics and informal social get-togethers. Members are encouraged to take the initiative in these activities. The "democratic" organization of Zen practice is an ongoing experiment. Students are expected to let teachers perform their function, and teachers are expected to let students administer the Zen center.