What to Expect

Have you heard about meditation or mindfulness? Maybe you’ve even read a book or two on the subject or listen to a podcast on the many benefits of meditation. Green Bay Zen Center FNA Green Tara Sangha has been in Green Bay for over 20 years and would love to invite you to practice with us. We Understand that trying something new can be scary, and we want to make sure that you feel welcome when you come to practice so we have provided some guidance on what to expect on your visit.

Here are some common questions we have encountered, and answers to those questions.

“What if I never meditated before?”

  • You do not need experience, we will ask if you would like any help prior to the meditation period. We may show you different ways to sit, and answer your questions before hand. This is why it is important to arrive several minutes prior to the start of the period. However, once you enter the meditation hall (zendo) we ask that you do not speak, and that you take your seat, quietly take your seat. You will find that there are rituals, however you will not be expected to know them, and you can participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable.

“How much does this cost?”

  • There is no charge to meditate. We have a donation box that you can contribute to, but it is not mandatory.

“What Do I need to bring with me?”

  • Cushions, benches and everything you need is provided for you. If possible, we ask that you wear dark clothing, out of respect for the tradition.

“What days and times do you have meditation?”

  • GBZC holds meditation service twice a week. The first service is on Thursday night and the mediation starts 6:00 pm. The second service is held Sunday morning at 8:00 am. As previously mentioned you should arrive 10 minutes early, especially if you are new to to GBZC.

“What happens during the Thursday and Sunday services?”

  • Great question! After all participants have “taken their seat” the service begins with an opening ceremony. The opening ceremony consists of reading from our sutra book (which is provided to you). The opening service is followed by a 20 minute meditation period (zazen). On Thursday evening a dharma talk is given by Zen Priest Shunya, Lynn Hyer as well.
  • Sunday morning service follows a similar pattern: Opening service, followed by meditation (zazen). However, after zazen, there is a walking meditation (kinhin) which lasts 10 minutes followed by a second zazen period. Finally, a dharma talk will be given by Roshi Vimala, John Nemick.

“Yikes, that was a lot, I am not sure I can remember all of that?”

  • You won’t have to remember any of what was just described. The thought behind the explanation was that by explaining what goes on during the service, it might take some of the anxiety out of what to expect. All you really need to do is be on time, and be attempt to sit quietly. You only should concern yourself with that. Leave the rest to us. If you can do that you’ll be off to a great start!

“I am not Buddhist, I just want to learn how to meditate.”

  • You do not have to be Buddhist or even religious to participate in the Thursday or Sunday services. Anyone and everyone is welcome.


“Does that whole building belong to Green Bay Zen Center?”

  • Thank you for asking this question. The building is not owned by Green Bay Zen Center. The building has many offices inside of it, and most of them are not related to GBZC. We are guests, and it is very important to remember to enter the building quietly and to be respectful of the other businesses that are inside of the building. Green Bay Zen center is located upstairs, please come upstairs and join us as we practice together.