SAVE THE DATE: July 15, 2017
It's our 40th! The Atlanta Soto Zen Center (ASZC) was founded with the leadership of Abbot Zenkai Taiun Michael Elliston, who was a disciple of Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka-Roshi. Elliston-sensei remains the Zen Center's spiritual leader.

On 7/15/17, as part of the 2017 Annual Silent Thunder Order Conference & Precepts Retreats, we plan to host a major celebratory event. In addition to the spirit of Zen, our zendo will be filled with art and music. The pre-event raffle campaign will kick off in early 2017—the grand prize will be a priceless original artwork by Roshi Elliston, Bonus price will be a round-trip air ticket. Stay tuned for much much more.

Most importantly, we need your participation to make this a success. Even 2 hours a week can be a great help and great fun! For more information, please contact Yuesen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Study Opportunities

ANATTA - ANATMAN in 2 minutes

The principle of Anatta - Anatman in Sanskrit - is what makes Buddhism different from all other religions holding to the concept of an essential, eternal soul.

For Buddhists, there is no such thing as an eternal soul or essence to anything in the Universe.

Video by Ji Ryu - Frederic Lecut - taped at Mokurai Dojo, Headland, Alabama, USA in November 2016

Rohatsu Sesshin
Atlanta Soto Zen Centre, December 4-11, 2016.
Click Here to Register.
Rohatsu is our yearly, most intensive "Buddha Style" 7 day sesshin, celebrating and reenacting Buddha's week of zazen under the Bodhi Tree just prior to his profound awakening. This year's Rohatsu will begin on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 4th and continue until noon the following Sunday including zazen throughout the night on Saturday, Dec. 10th. All individuals are encouraged to take part in the entire retreat if possible or as much as their individual schedule will allow. Space is limited so please register early.

ASZC is on Mixlr! Download the app or connect on your computer to hear live streaming Dharma talks at ASZC. Those connecting on Mixlr can participate in the discussion by messaging. If you aren't able to listen to the live streaming talk, the recordings can be accessed. Click on the link below and search for Atlanta Soto Zen Center. (Mixlr link)

Cloud Dharma Tuesday Skype Discussion Group
Cloud Dharma study group is currently reading and discussing Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness by Taigen Dan Leighton.
Click here to learn how to participate.

Residency Opportunity
STO offeres residency opportunities at Atlanta Soto Zen Center. Please contact Zammai Lawrell Studstill (cell 404-867-4408; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

[email protected]! December 3, 2016. Click here for more information.

Dharma Byte
Dreaming in America
by Taiun Michael Elliston-roshi

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them:
To die, to sleep no more; and by a sleep, to say we end the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to?
'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
To die, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream; aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.

The Bard nails it once again. Perhaps the prospect that our dreams foreshadow life after death should give us pause. One of our many Zen poets, Sengcan of the 6th-7th century China would add:

Emptiness here, emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.
So too with being and non-being.

So Zen tells us that the apparent boundary line between being and non-being is just that. Apparent. A little more amenable to bridging may be that between sleeping and waking: dreaming.

I have long been fascinated with dreams. I have memories of unusual dreams going back to childhood. But nobody ever talks about their dreams, so I learned to put them in my back pocket at an early age. However, I later learned that, in other cultures, dreams are given a place of importance. Mainly in what we refer to as primitive cultures, to be sure, such as that of the aboriginal tribes in Australia. But native Americans also respected dreams, as did earlier European and Asian cultures, and developed theories or myths as to their import for our lives.


Affiliate News
Halifax Affiliate Annual General Meeting & Potluck
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 6:00 p.m.
3584 Prospect Road, Shad Bay (Tesshin & Nancy's House)
Please contact Tesshin if you plan to attend.

Affiliates Listing
Atlanta Soto Zen Center,Atlanta, Georgia (founded 1977)
Atlantic Soto Zen Center,
Dalhousie Multifaith Centre,Halifax NS Canada
Buddhist Philosophies
,NCSU Campus Group, Raleigh North Carolina
Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha, Falmouth, Massachusetts
High Plains ZenNess City, Kansas
Iqaluit Soto Zen GroupIqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Jacksville Soto Zen Meditation Group,Jacksville, Florida
Memphis Zen CommunityMemphis, Tennessee
Mission Mountain Zen GroupDayton, Montana
Nashville Zen Center
Nashville, Tennessee
Ottawa Soto ZenOttawa, Canada
Sakura-jiCreston, British ColumbiaPhone - 250-428-6500
Savannah Zen Center, Savannah, Georgia
Southwind Sangha Soto Zen Buddhist AssoicationWichita, Kansas
Treehouse SanghaTroy and Cohoes, New York
Wire Grass Soto Zen Group, Headland AL
Zen Group of ChattanoogaChattanooga, Tennesse