Setsuan Konjin Gaelyn Godwin, Abbot

Houston Zen Center is a Zen meditation Center in the Houston Heights. The Abbot, teachers and leaders of the Center are trained in the Soto Zen tradition, in the lineage of Suzuki Shunryu Roshi, the founder of San Francisco Zen Center and author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. The membership and participants are very diverse, coming from all faith traditions and joining the various activities at the Center in ways that work for their lives and schedules

The Center is open for meditation at regular hours every day except Friday. See the schedule for the daily hours. The weekend program on Sunday includes meditation, dharma talks, care of the temple and social gatherings. Everyone is welcome to the weekend programs as well as the daily meditation schedule. Weekend meditation as well as daily meditation is offered at no charge.

Classes on introductory as well as advanced Zen topics are offered throughout the year. Most classes are 6-week series at modest prices. Retreats and special events led by visiting teachers are offered throughout the year as well.

Zen emphasizes putting meditative awareness into activity. Thus, we work together as a meditation. Maintaining and expanding our grounds and garden, caring for the Center’s buildings, cooking and cleaning during the retreats, learning to play the bells and drums for service — these are some of the activities of mindfulness-in-action that deepen Zen practice.

Practicing together in a shared space is the essence of Zen. Many of the Center's members meditate at the Center on a daily basis while many maintain meditation practice at their homes, coming to the Center on a weekly or monthly basis: this is understood to be an extension of the shared space that we maintain together.


All our meditation periods are open to everyone who is interested in meditation. Our Center is entirely supported by the donations of visitors and members, and by the class enrollment fees.

Members of HZC are those who formally pledge to support the Center on a monthly or annual basis. The Treasurer and Membership Secretary are very pleased to discuss our expenses and projects and have come up with recommendations for membership donations.

Visit the Membership Page for more information about joining or email the Membership Secretary if you have questions.

May all beings be happy and free of suffering.


Houston Zen Center, or Sho Un Ji, Auspicious Cloud Zen Temple, is led by the Abbot, Setsuan Konjin Gaelyn Godwin. The assistant teachers are:

  • Kogen Glen Duval

  • Nessho Cathy Crouch

  • Hokyo Louise Dreyfus

  • Shinji Mary Carol Edwards

Ethical Guidelines and Procedures
HZC has a written policy that explicitly describes the members' commitment to practice together in alignment with Buddhist precepts. The policy includes procedures for addressing and resolving questions of conduct of the leaders and members should they arise.

The policy can be accessed here: Houston Zen Center Ethical Guidelines and Procedures. Further questions can be addressed to the Board President, Laura Salazar-Hopps.

Further information about HZC's governance can be obtained from Zen Center's President, Laura Salazar-Hopps, or the Secretary of the Board, Parmita Derden.

HZC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Board of Directors
More information about the Board and leadership.
Laura Salazar-Hopps President 
Judson Dunn Vice president 
Parmita Derden Secretary 
Gary Grubitz Treasurer
Gaelyn Godwin Abbot

Zack Becker
Audrey Charlton
Eileen Dwyer
Gayle Klaybor
Troy Porter
Carter White

Judson Dunn

Leo Golub, Chair
Tricia McFarlin
Gary Grubitz
Carter White
Parmita Derden

Tanto Louise Dreyfus
Tanto Gayle Klaybor
Ino Vicki Glenn

Tom Biddle, Audrey Charlton, Judson Dunn

Branching Streams Member Affiliate Sanghas San Francisco Zen Center

Branching Streams Member Affiliate Sanghas San Francisco Zen Center

Houston Zen Center in Stillness and Motion 2019