Affiliate of the
Silent Thunder Order

STOmokuraiLogo transp 100



ASZC zendo July 2015
Zen Buddhist Meditation Center
Everyone welcome 

Atlanta Soto Zen Center LIVE Zen Radio

Click here for more details

INTRODUCTION to ZEN MEDITATION: Wednesday evenings 7:30-9:00 pm
SUNRISE MEDITATION: Every morning 6:00-7:05 am. Join us any time.


Upcoming Events:

Beginner’s M
ind Discussion Group
Monday nights 7:30 pm
Please join
us for a 25 minute period of meditation followed by an informal discussion until 9:00pm. Starting October 5th we are beginning to discuss the book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki. We are going to read and discuss roughly three chapters per week, but there is no need to read the book to join us. However, if you’d like the book, and want to read along, please bring a copy or purchase a copy at ASZC. The only prerequisite for this discussion group is that you have attended at least one of our 'Introduction to Zen' classes on Wednesday evenings or have some basic understanding of Zen. Just bring your beginner’s mind ;-)
Chapters for Monday October 12th: Mind Waves, Mind Weeds, The Marrow of Zen

Meditation Retreat "Silent Mountain" at the Watershed Retreat Center in North Carolina
Friday 6th - Sunday 8th of November
For more information and registration please follow this LINK

Rohatsu Sesshin 2015
Saturday 5th - Sunday 13th of December
buddha tree
For more information and registration please follow this LINK

 Matsuoka Roshi Documentary

Our new GofundMe page has labnched for the documentary on Matsuoka Roshi.

You Could Make It Happen! Click here to see how.

Please spread the word far and wide!

Hi Everyone!

The Soto Zen Silent Thunder Order (STO) is announcing a IndieGoGo fund raising effort to produce a documentary on the life of our founder Soyu Matsuoka Roshi. The Documentary will be filmed this fall during our Pilgrimage to Japan.
The link is here:

Members and friends, please make a donation and Practice Leaders, please copy and paste the link to all posts and emails. Let's get this thing funded. Feel free to contact me or any ASZC or STO Board Member with any questions.
In Gassho,
Chase Breedlove 


We hope you will join us for zazen

Sunrise Meditation @ 6:00, 6:30 & 7:05 am (Every Day!)
Sunday Morning @ 9:00 Includes Dokusan with Abbot and Dharma Discussion

Mon, Tues, and Wed evenings at 7:30 pm:  Zazen, Dharma Study, and Discussion.


From the Mouth of Matsuoka Roshi

Matsuoka Roshi"Be careful of that one little thing that you allow yourself... that is what will get you."

This particular quote from Matsuoka Roshi, which I heard him say only once, came to mind when a student (who shall remain anonymous) sent an email (this term will soon date this writing) with the heading "Gloriously drunk," in which he made clear, directly and via typos, that he had been out drinking whiskey to the point that he had overdone it. He was clearly a happy drunk — a giddy tone and lack of anger came shining through. I thanked him and told him I was honored that he thought of me in his inebriated condition. I went on, as is my wont, to mention that Master Dogen said, "When we take the tonsure (shave the head) we are already intoxicated." And so that drugs and alcohol are what in Zen is called a "head upon a head" — substance intoxication on top of sensory intoxication. But the next morning I got the hangover memo. Like most things in life, we observe the Precepts in retrospect, when we have broken them. The hangover is merely the immediate consequence, Karmic though it may seem in its magnitude at the time.

I speak from experience here. My father was afraid to let himself drink, as he thought he would become an alcoholic, and as the leader of a jazz band playing night clubs, he saw a lot of the downside of inebriation. He told me that we are part Choctaw — somewhere there is a photo of a great-great-great matriarch of the family, and she is definitely Native American — and a couple of his father's generation had become serious alcoholics. I have learned to avoid the firewater myself, as I have learned from hard and embarrassing experience.

Read more: From the Mouth of Matsuoka Roshi




 • Newcomers  — Instruction/Orientation/Workshop Wed 7:30 pm
 • Atlanta Region  — Dialog with interfaith groups, schools, public
 • Training Center  — Formal training of Priests and Disciples of STO

 • Buddha Practice  — Daily sitting meditation sessions (zazen)
 • Dharma Study  — Regular dialogs & discussion forums
 • Sangha Service  — Weekly sutra services & social events

 • Zazenkai  — Monthly Friday—Saturday retreat
 • Sesshin  — Annual; Precepts; Buddha’s Elightenment Day
 • Hossen  — 5th Sunday Dharma Combat (4/year)
 • Ango  — 30- & 90-day practice period (student residency)

 • 4th Friday Forum  — Sangha dinner & discussion; guest speakers
 • Guest Teachers  — Visiting Zen teachers, authors & educators
 • Holidays  — Buddhist Holidays; Founder’s Day; New Year
 • Practice Path  — Initiation (Jukai); Discipleship (Zaike Tokudo)

The Atlanta Soto Zen Center, founded in 1977, is one of the larger non-residential Zen centers in the country, offering a full schedule of morning and evening zazen, zen meditation and protocol instructions for beginners, monthly all-day sittings (zazenkai) and occasional week-long retreats (sesshin). Please come join us in our beautiful location on Zonolite Place and look for opportunities to begin or deepen your Zen practice.

We also have a network of affiliated centers and sitting groups throughout the country and Atlanta suburbs. For locations, please see the Silent Thunder Orderaffiliates page.


Information for Visitors:


Services at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center primarily involve silent zen meditation (zazen). We welcome experienced visitors to attend any of our services. Please arrive 5-10 minutes before the start of the service and introduce yourself to the attendant. Our programs begin promptly at the time specified and we ask that visitors not interrupt services in progress.

We offer the following options for newcomers to zen at the center:


  • Newcomers zen meditation instruction each Wednesday at 7:30pm 
  • Occasional "Zen Buddhist Basics" classes.
Appropriate attire is modest comfortable clothing. We remove shoes inside the center. Please do not wear fragrances.


If you have a large group or would like special accommodations (either on-site at the ASZC or a presentation off-site), please contact us in advance (click here for email). 

Financial Information: 

Atlanta Soto Zen Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, funded solely through donations.

Please Click here to make an on-line donation through PayPal.



Mailing List:


Click here to receive announcements from our mailing list.

Monthly Announcement Archives


 We are pleased to announce the publication of the first and second volumes of teaching archives of our lineage founder, Rev. Soyu Matsuoka-roshi (click here to purchase).


calig silence thunder

Silence/Thunder calligraphy by Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka-roshi