Online class: The Noble Eightfold Path

9/4/2010, 9:00am - 12/11/2010, 5:00pm at

This class explores the Eightfold Path, one of the most fundamental teachings of the Buddha and the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. The eightfold path describes the elements of ethical conduct (Sila): Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood; the elements of concentration (Samadhi): Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration; and the elements of wisdom (Prajna): Right Thought and Right Understanding. In this class, we look at these teachings from the Mahayana standpoint (including the Zen tradition) as well as the traditional formulations described in the Pali Canon.


Beginner's Mind Sesshin

9/22/2017, 8:00pm - 9/24/2017, 9:00am at Myoshinji

Those who are in the early stages of their practice are encouraged to join us for our Beginner’s Mind Sesshin. Sesshin (intensive practice retreats) are an important part of Zen practice. This retreat will introduce students to the formal practices that are integral to sesshin, including: sitting and walking meditation; liturgy; taking meals in the traditional, formal oryoki style; and work practice.


Quarterly Newsletter for May - July

Our May, 2010 newsletter is now available. In addition to information about upcoming workshops and retreats, this issue includes information and the commitment form for summer ango (practice period), which starts this weekend with our annual memorial for our founder, Taizan Maezumi Roshi. Ango is a wonderful opportunity to foster a more focused commitment to Zen practice.

Drum Circle & Traditional Ojibway Teachings with guest, Ron Kanutski

Great Plains Zen Center is pleased to host Ron Kanutski, presenting Ojibway Traditional Teachings on Sunday night, February 21 in place of our regular evening sitting in Palatine. There is a suggested donation of $15 for this event and refreshments will be served.

Ron’s gift is his natural ability to bridge traditional Ojibway healing methods and ceremonies shared by the elders with mainstream healing modalities to provide unique learning experiences and opportunities. Bring your hand drum or rattle and join Ron in sharing songs, stories and teachings of the Ojibway (Anishnawbe) people to promote healing and good life.

Ron Kanutski is a Registered Social Worker, Native Cultural Teacher, with 18 years of extensive experience in the mental health and addictions field. Ron is currently based in Thunder Bay, Ontario and continues to be actively involved in Ontario, Wisconsin and Illinois. Read more about Ron at, and see the flyer for this event.

Quarterly Newsletter for February - April

Our February, 2010 newsletter is now available. This issue has details about upcoming retreats, news about our class on the Eightfold Path (available in Monroe, WI and online), and information about a special event this month. On Sunday, February 21 at the Countryside Unitarian Church in Palatine, our special guest will be Ron Kanutski, a Native Cultural Teacher from Ontario, who will lead a Drum Circle, and share traditional Ojibway teachings and healing methods.

Eightfold Path Class

We are excited to offer this class on The Noble Eightfold Path, both as an online course and a live class. The class will begin on Saturday, March 6 and will continue on Saturdays through May 8. (There will be no class on 3/27 or 4/10.)

The class will explore the Eightfold Path, one of the most fundamental teachings of the Buddha and the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. The eightfold path describes the elements of wisdom (Prajna): Right View and Right Thought, the elements of ethical conduct (Sila): Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood, and the elements of concentration (Samadhi): Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. This class will include readings, discussion and instruction in meditation (zazen) and everyday practice.

Classes will be presented live, from 10:30 - 11:30 at Great Plains Zen Center, W7762 Falk Rd, in Monroe, WI. Participants are welcome to join regular Saturday morning sitting from 9:00 to 10:30 AM prior to the class.

The class will also be offered online, with weekly lectures, links to readings, an ongoing discussion and assignments. Live class participants will also have access to the online resources. Class topics will be synchronized so that online participants can attend any of the Saturday classes as well if they would like.

The $45 cost includes the entire eight-class sequence. Please register before the first class and plan to attend all eight, if possible. To enroll in the course, please create an account at the course-hosting site Once you have created and confirmed your account, you will be able to enroll in the course using PayPal. (You do not need a PayPal account—just a credit or debit card.) If your financial situation prevents you from paying the fee for this course, you may apply for a scholarship. Simply explain your need in an email to the Abbot. Please note that scholarships are limited.

Intro Workshop at Myoshinji Canceled

The introductory workshop scheduled for Saturday, December 19 at Myoshinji has been canceled. Please join us instead on January 23. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Quarterly Newsletter for November - January

Our November, 2009 newsletter is now available.

Quarterly Newsletter for August - October

Our August, 2009 newsletter is now available. In addition to the full calendar for the next three months, it also contains sesshin dates for the next year.

Scouts Install Two Natural Gardens at Myoshinji

Enhancement of the grounds of Myoshinji through the installation of two natural gardens was the focus of a recent project coordinated by Eagle Scout candidate Alex Slepak. Members of Boy Scout Troop 100 (Buffalo Grove, IL) and Venturing Crew 747 (Long Grove, IL) spent the weekend of June 21 on the project. Working from a list of native plant materials selected by Myoyu Roshi, grasses, flowers and other flora were purchased with funds donated by Zen Center members as well as scouts and their families.