A Zen Buddhist Community in Shelburne, Vermont

Introduction to Zen Workshop

1 jun 2024

Introductory Workshops, conducted by Roshi Graef and her students, are a practical and authentic introduction to Zen Buddhism.

During the half-day schedule of talks, question periods, demonstrations and guided meditation, participants are introduced to the body-mind disciplines of Zen Buddhism.

In addition to providing an introduction to Zen, workshops are an ideal time to see how spiritual training is carried on at the Center. Members are available to answer questions about the Zen Center and its programs. People who wish to discuss their own spiritual practice can talk with Roshi during the question-and-answer period or during breaks.


  • Roshi Graef begins the Workshop with a talk about the life of the Buddha and the main principles of Zen.
  • Meditation postures, methods of breathing and ways of concentrating the mind are taught by a senior member.
  • A short break is followed by two periods of guided Zen meditation with walking meditation in between.
  • At the end of the meditation, we return to the lecture room where there is a question and answer period and a talk by Roshi Graef on how to bring Zen into daily life, how to find a teacher, and how to practice on one's own.
  • The Workshop ends with refreshments and a brief meeting for those who would like information about practicing at the Vermont Zen Center. Books on Buddhism are available, as are order forms for purchasing sitting garments and cushions.


Reservations must be made in advance. If you are unable to attend the workshop and you notify us more than one week ahead, we can refund your payment or you can apply the payment to a future workshop. If you cancel within one week of the workshop, we cannot refund your payment, but you are welcome to apply the fee to a future workshop.

What to Wear

Loose-fitting clothing is ideal. Skirts should be both long and full enough to sit with the legs crossed; pants should be quite loose. Jeans are not comfortable for meditation; sweat pants are fine. In keeping with the atmosphere of a temple, please do not wear shorts or sleevless shirts.

Instructor, Roshi Sunyana Graef

Roshi Graef

Roshi Graef is the founder and teacher of the Vermont Zen Center. She began Zen training in 1969 at the Rochester Zen Center in New York. She was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in 1986 and sanctioned as the Dharma Heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau in 1987. Roshi Graef also teaches at the Casa Zen de Costa Rica in Santo Tomás de Heredia.