ABOUT HOUSTON ZEN CENTER
Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, Abbot
Houston Zen Center is located in the Houston Heights, in an historic building which was designed and built in 1918. The graceful and dignified building was restored in 2005 by the previous owners who are pleased that it now has become a Zen Center. Houston Zen Community began practicing together once a week in 1985 at First Unitarian Church. More information is available on the History page.
Our Abbot, Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, began to lead us in 1999 and moved to Houston in 2003. We established our Center in the Heights in the same year. The Center is the heart of our practice and allows us to practice meditation on a daily basis. Practicing together in a shared space is the essence of Zen. Many of our members 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. We also share longer retreats, led by the Abbot, senior members, and visiting Dharma Teachers.
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 deepens Zen practice.
SUPPORT OF THE CENTER
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.
May all beings be happy and free of suffering.
ZEN CENTER ORGANIZATION
Houston Zen Center, or Sho Un Ji, Auspicious Cloud Zen Temple, is led by the Abbot, Setsuan 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, Tricia McFarlin.
HZC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), center.
Board of Directors
Tricia McFarlin President
Judson Dunn Vice president
Parmita Derden Secretary
Gary Grubitz Treasurer
Gaelyn Godwin Abbot
Cathy Crouch, Chair
Tanto Glen Duval
Tanto Louise Dreyfus
Ino Vicki Glenn
Judson Dunn, Tom Biddle