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We talk about birth and death, and everything in between. That’s all!–Eiko Joshin Carolyn Atkinson

Everyday Dharma Zen Center is a Buddhist community dedicated to cultivating compassion and wisdom. Our effort is directed toward reducing suffering, both our own and that of others. We train ourselves in the meditation practices of mindfulness, of stillness, and of loving-kindness, making an effort to bring these qualities into our everyday lives.

Our experience is that we suffer less if we can learn to notice our thoughts, reactions, and emotions as quickly as possible. Such mindful awareness expands our freedom, allowing us to make more skillful choices that create less suffering for ourselves and others. By cultivating stillness, we can begin to erode our negative habits, and respond more openly in our everyday lives. And developing a sense of universal friendliness helps us to recognize and act upon our many connections within our world.


Our Head Teacher, Carolyn Atkinson (Eiko Joshin) is a Dharma Heir and Lineage Holder of the late Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi, in the Soto Zen tradition. She has also trained in the Theravadin tradition.

Her first book, Quiet Mind Open Heartprovides instruction in using mindfulness and Stillness Abiding meditation to increase our compassion and equanimity.

Carolyn’s latest book, A Light in the Mind, explores the practice of embracing self-acceptance. Copies of both books are available at the Everyday Dharma Zen Center or from Amazon.com: Quiet Mind, Open Heart and A Light in the Mind


Everyday Dharma began in 2002. From 2004 until 2018, we maintained a Zendo at 113 New Street in downtown Santa Cruz.  Our meeting place has recently closed, and now we continue to gather regularly in other venues, as a community of dedicated practitioners.