Every Sunday:

Dharma Class 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and Sunday Service at 11:00 a.m., followed by potluck lunch & visiting.

Every Thursday:

Meditation 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., includes two periods of 30″ sitting meditation and one period of walking meditation.  Tea and conversation before closing.

Month: Year:
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Category Key
 Dharma Class
 Dharma Talk - Away from DZC
 Special Event
 Sunday Service

Buddha’s Birthday

During the Buddha’s Birthday Ceremony in Spring, we chant and bathe a statue of the baby Buddha with sweet tea and flower petals. We encourage everyone to bring an instrument, a poem, a song, a joke (suitable for the occasion), and to entertain the sangha during our shared meal after service. Roshi often plays his guitar.

(Sanskrit: Ullambana, Japanese: Obon)

This late Summer ceremony dates back to the time of the Buddha and was started to help one of his monks who had visions of his mother being tortured in hell. The ceremony was to help deliver her from hell. It has become a annual day to remember those who have passed away and it is also a time to recognize or remember your mother. You may submit any names of those who have passed away to the priests at the temple so they may be remembered during ceremony.

Desert Zen Center honors this day according to the Japanese Calendar, and will celebrate on July 13th, 2014, starting at 11:00 a.m.   This will be the final ceremony and luncheon on the last day of our special Summer Teaching Sesshin.

Bodhi Day: Buddha’s Enlightenment Day – (Japanese: Rohatsu) December 21, 11 a.m.

On December 8th of each year (or on weekends before and/or after the 8th), Mahayana Buddhists commemorate the moment Gautama became the Buddha (Enlightened One). Ordination services are often conducted at this time because of its auspiciousness. 

Reaffirming the Precepts –

Celebrated the last Sunday of every month.
This is a time for those who have taken the five
lay precepts to reaffirm them. It is also an excellent time for those who wish to take precepts to do so.  Please request to take Precepts at least two weeks in advance.

Retreats –

What to expect at a DZC Sesshin/retreat? click here 

(Please RSVP for all retreats)

Sesshins are Zazen retreats with little or no teaching.
Weekend Sesshin starts on Friday at 8:00 p.m. and ends Sunday after Morning Service.

2014: October 10-12, December 12-14

Teaching or Workshop Retreats are similar to Sesshins but replace several periods of Zazen with Dharma teaching. 

Week at the Temple Sesshin: a Teaching/Life at Temple retreat held July 7-13, 2014: a special week-long Teaching Sesshin from July 7, 6 a.m., through July 13, after lunch.  This Sesshin designed for a number of monks or prospective monks and will include multiple periods of meditation, chanting, sutra study, samu, discussion, lecture, etc., etc., and concluded with our Obon/Ullambana/Vu Lan Celebration on July 13th. 

Day at the Temple retreats are designed to provide the experience of Temple life, and space for us to dive deeply into the practice for one day. The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. day includes Zazen meditation, a formal vegetarian lunch, Dharma talk by Roshi, and an ending ceremony.

2014: November 8 

The Rains Season: A time for intense practice and cultivation –

The Desert Zen Center observes the Rains Season from the middle of September to the middle of December when the Bodhi Day weekend retreat commemorating the enlightenment of the Buddha is held. This time period follows the Japanese tradition and honors the intent of the Asian tradition, which observes Rains Season training during their winter (monsoon) period. During this period of time, a retreat, Day at the Temple or a workshop is held on the second full Saturday of each month.

Rains Season Training at DZC: usually September through December, 2014 dates 9-13 thru 12-14

An article from our September 2010 newsletter, which explains our “Winter/Summer Training,” is found here.

Temple Work Day –

9 am. to noonish (sometimes ending at about 3 p.m. if we’re on a roll), vegetarian lunch included. A concerted experience of a day of samu (work meditation) in community.

Note: Desert Zen Center schedules temple events on the second Saturday of every month.


International Buddhist Education Center –

IBEC was founded as an English-Language Dharma Education project which, while open to all who are interested in the Buddha’s teachings, is designed to serve the youth of the Vietnamese community in Southern California. An Giao Roshi is a founding, teaching member of this organization and serves on the Board of IBEC.

(see the IBEC Facebook page here or visit their website at

Both Roshi and Su Co will be visiting their new facility,  White Lotus Dharma Center, located at 13071 Brookhurst Street, Garden Grove, CA 92843, to give Dharma talks in English at 2:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month. and the second Saturday of every other month.