The Iowa City Zen Center is an independent Zen community affiliated with the Japanese Soto Zen school, following the guidance of Abbot Shoken Winecoff, the founder of Ryumonji Zen Monastery in the Midwest Zen lineage of Dainin Katagiri.  Founded in 1976 by Steve Fox and others, the Iowa City Zen Center is located at 1025 Fairchild Street in the historic Goosetown neighborhood of Iowa City. Here is a location map & contact information. The Zen Center has a Schedule for zazen (sitting meditation) as well as classes and special events. All are welcome to attend and there is no charge, though donations are gratefully accepted.

Since March 12, 2020, we are currently meeting only online through Zoom. The Zoom room number has been distributed by email and is available by request to our email address: iowacityzencenter@gmail.com. Please see below for further information and some further notices. FYI, Information here was last updated on June 14, 2022.

We are deeply grateful to Rev. Danei Page Appelbaum for guiding our selection of texts and hosting and guiding the discussions and sittings. For those wishing to directly acknowledge her generous commitment to our Sangha’s learning and practice, her contact information is listed at the bottom of this Iowa City Zen Center web page.

A Special Notice as of December 1, 2020: A financial  update: 

Because we could not see a way to safely sit and conduct chanting services, in March 2020 the ICZC Board opted to pack away our bells, zafus and zabutons, and offered the first floor of 1025 Fairchild  as a residential rental until August, 2021. We could thus continue to pay our mortgage, while practicing online through Zoom. Contact details for Zoom sittings and Class are available by request to iowacityzencenter@gmail.com.

That said, resources to maintain our building and grounds and support our practice and teaching are down, and we welcome donations. Our approach has been to offer instruction and a place for Zen meditation without charge, and we have benefited greatly from many small donations from our community. 

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Iowa City Zen Center. Here is our PayPal account:  


Or mail a check to our Treasurer: Steve Hirst, 135 Bowling Green Place, IC, IA 52245.

Gassho, Tom Carlisle, President, for the Iowa City Zen Center Board

Contact: iowacityzencenter@gmail.com

March 12, 2020. Due to the presence of COVID-19 in our community, the Iowa City Zen Center Board has suspended in person sittings and services at the 1025 Fairchild location. We encourage the Sangha to continue the practice of Soto Zen Buddhism in our homes and in our lives. Due to the resurgence of the Delta variant, we are still following this practice as of September 2021. As soon as is possible, we will announce the date and details of plans for reopening to sit together in person again. Until then we are sitting via Zoom meeting.

Please see below for details of online sittings. Resources for practice at home are available under the Resource tab in this website’s header above. These include information on the arrangement and use of a home altar, texts of several Sutras, Ekos, Chants, and Verses. The Dai Hai Shin Dharani, the Kanzeon (related to intentions toward the ailing, including ourselves) and instructions for the Idaten, a service said at the entry altars of a place of practice, are all included.

March 27, 2020, updated on August 22, 2020 and December 22, 2020, and October 19, 2021, February 22, 2022 and March 29, 2022.

Dear Friends and Sangha members of the Iowa City Zen Center,
We have taken steps to enable remote participation in sittings, services, and our Tuesday evening Class through the Zoom platform. Dainei Page Appelbaum can host meetings on the platform Zoom.  Please contact iowacityzencenter@gmail.com to participate in these sittings, or see further information below.

 Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM we are now reading and discussing via Zoom “Each Moment is the Universe”, by Dainin Katagiri, a collection of Dharma talks concerning his Zen Buddhist view of Time. We gather at about 6:20 CDT Tuesdays for a 40 minute sitting beginning at 6:30 PM, recite the Funkanzazengi (Eihei Dogen Zenji’s instructions for Zazen at his first monastery), and then read and discuss one or more Dharma talks from the book.

Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM CDT Dainei is now hosting a Zoom meeting including Zazen for 40 minutes, then the Metta Sutra and Eko, to recreate remotely much of the Sunday Morning sitting. Please check in about 10 minutes before 9:00 AM to allow us to settle before sitting.

Weekdays at 6:00 AM CDT Dainei has now organized morning services Monday through Saturday. We gather at about 5:50 AM CST, sit at 5:00 AM, have a brief service at 6:40 AM each day. We sit for 40 minutes, followed each day by a Sutra service beginning at 6:40 AM for about 15 to 30 minutes.  

If you wish to participate in any of these Zoom meetings, please contact Dainei by phone or text or email her. If you email, please include a copy to iowacityzencenter@gmail.com, since we distribute meeting invitations to the group Class or any Services you may wish to add to your practice. Invitations will come as emails citing a Zoom room address and soon also a required password.

Dainei  can be reached at:
madametealady@gmail.com or via text or telephone at 319 331 4261.

Dainei wishes to make known to the Sangha that she can respond to requests for Zen Buddhist chants or services. These may include the Kanzeon to express intention for healing or safety of those ill or otherwise distressed, the Dai Hai Shin Dharani, or others as appropriate. She is also able to perform Buddhist funerals and other services.