Clouds In Water Zen Center

A vibrant urban community in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition dedicated to awakening the heart of great wisdom and compassion. We welcome people of all backgrounds and faiths.

COVID-19 Community Care Practice 

We respectfully request that in-person participants are vaccinated/boosted for COVID-19. We will not require proof of vaccination. Masking is currently optional for classes and gatherings with fewer than 15 participants and for private events but will be based on local positivity rates when the class or gathering is held. For classes and gatherings with 15 or more participants and during our Sunday public program, masks are required. Clouds in Water can provide masks as needed. For sesshin (meditation retreats) participants must receive a negative COVID test result within 12 hours of attendance. At-home test results are sufficient. Clouds in Water will continue to offer Zoom/In-person hybrid options for nearly all of our classes and gatherings. Thank you for your flexibility and care. 


Council Practice at Clouds

Beginning this month, we will be offering regular talking circles where sangha members can share thoughts and feelings on various topics. Some of these will be open to everyone and others for specific groups. We hope you will consider attending. In these circles we will invite you to speak from a zazen place, opening to spaciousness, ease and not-knowing. Our community will be stronger as we listen to more voices. Councils will be in persona and on Zoom. Zoom Link.  Meeting ID: 889 6825 9373  Passcode: 628788
March 26, 2 - 3:30 pm: Decisions about Finances. We'll need to make some hard decisions about how to increase income or reduce expenses in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Come hear more about what's happening, share your hopes, fears and creativity on how we could move forward. Open to all.
April 16, - 11 am - 12:30 pm: Youth and Family Practice. This council is for parents, caregivers, volunteer youth practice leaders, and any sangha members who are interested in what we are doing with Youth and Family Practice. Teens are also invited to attend.
Questions: Contact


Spring Practice Period – March 5

Spring Practice Period: Understanding Your Life Through the Practice of Zenwith Sosan Theresa FlynnThursdays, March 9 – 30, 7 – 8:30 pm(plus opening and closing ceremonies Sundays March 5 and April 2, 9 – 10:30 am) The beautiful teachings and practices of Soto Zen Buddhism can help us live our lives with joy, ease, creativity,…

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One Day Sesshin – March 11

March One Day Sesshinwith Myo On HaglerMarch 10, 7 – 9 pm and March 11, 6:30 am – 9pm CTIn-person and on Zoom Sesshin, which means “collecting the heart/mind”, provides a rare chance to step into a sanctuary of stillness, to close the door for a little while on the cacophony, and to appreciate the freedom and spaciousness…

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Getting Started in Zen – March 15

Getting Started in ZenWednesday, March 157 – 9pm CTIn-person and on ZoomValue: $25 In this 2 hour workshop you receive all the tools you’ll need to get started on your personal journey in Zen practice. Instruction will be given in zazen meditation, basic Buddhist philosophy, developing a home practice, as well as practicing as part of a…

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Relaxing into the River of Joy Daylong Retreat – April 1

Relaxing into the River of Joy: a Daylong Retreatwith Koji AcquavivaSaturday April 1st, 9am – 5pm CTIn-person and on Zoom In this daylong retreat we will forge a connection with the joy and ease which must fuel our practice if we’re to awaken to wisdom and compassion. Practices will be tailored to increase relaxation which…

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Exploring the Life of the Buddha: April 11 – May 7

Exploring the Life of the Buddhawith Myo On Susan HaglerTuesdays, April 11 – May 7, 7 – 8:30 pm In this four week class, we will look at Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha’s life both before and after his great awakening. Using the book Path of Compassion by Thich Nhat Hanh we will study the Buddha’s childhood,…

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Spring Retreat at Hokyo-ji – April 27 – 30

Spring Retreat at HokyojiThursday, April 27, Noon through Sunday, April 30, 3 pmLed by Sosan Theresa Flynn You are invited to attend our spring retreat in the wondrous natural setting and well-appointed accommodations provided by Hokyoji Zen Practice Community. Hokyoji is located among the forested hills of southeastern Minnesota, adjacent to the Winnebago Creek in…

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Ritual of Atonement – May 6

Ritual of Atonement Workshop:On Becoming a Joyful Anti-Racist White-bodied Buddhist PractitionerWith Sosan Theresa FlynnSaturday, May 6, 9 am – 1 pmIN PERSON ONLY Ritual Atonement is a powerful way to release ourselves from karmic bonds that prevent us from taking positive, joyful action. In this half-day workshop, we’ll take steps to engage in our practice…

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Overview of 2023 Offerings

Click below for an overview of upcoming classes, sesshin, retreats, workshops and more. 2023

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Dharma Talks

What is the Great Heart of Wisdom and Compassion?

Sunday talk by Kyoku Tracey Walen Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

Bodhidharma’s Mind of Plainness

Sunday talk by Ken Ford Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

Buddha is Your Mind

Sunday talk by Ken Ford Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

Stepping Off a 100-foot Pole

Sunday talk by Laura Gentle Dragon Kennedy Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

The Boddhisattva’s Four Embracing Actions

Sunday talk by Sosan Theresa Flynn Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

Historical Life, Universal Life: How Karma & Emptiness Mix

Sunday talk by Byakuren Judith Ragir Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe Apple Podcasts | RSS | More

New To Zen Buddhism?

Learn about practicing at Clouds in Water and read some basic advice on meditation.

Member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association