Estes Park Zen
Estes Park Zen

Welcome to Estes Park Zen

                                                                                                        Estes Park, Colorado 

About Us

Zen Meditation

Concentrating the mind calms the mind. Learning to have a new relationship to our thoughts brings peace to our lives. Locals and visitors, beginners and experts are welcome to join our weekly meditations in our quiet and cozy meditation zendo. 

Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Set up a private introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of Zen meditation. Learn Zen meditation techniques that will prepare you to sit with the Estes Park Zen community.

Spiritual Direction

Reverend Michael Mui Lewis, M.A., LPCC works full-time as a Spiritual Advisor and Mental Health Counselor in the field of Addiction Treatment. Mike is available for spiritual counseling, and private 1:1, couples, and family counseling related to a variety of issues beyond addiction.

Weekly Practice

Sundays 6-7:15pm

Mondays & Wednesdays 7-8pm

Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:45-7:30am

Check the weekly schedule below for cancellations or changes to the normal schedule.

Please Contact Us below to get our physical address.

No upcoming events.

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Beginners and experts are welcome.

Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us. 

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Estes Park Zen

Estes Park, Colorado. Contact Us for our address.

Lineage and Training

Zen Priest Michael Mui Lewis, M.A.

Mui, born 1974 in Raleigh, NC, began meditating in 1992. He began formal Zen Training in 2003 under Zen Masters Chozen and Hogen Bays at Great Vow Zen Monastery. Mui continued residential training under Roshi Tenshin Fletcher at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. In 2006, Mui moved to Colorado to attend Naropa University for a Master's degree in Contemplative Counseling Psychology. There, Mui found his Zen home with the Great Mountain Zen Center and its Zen Masters Gerry Shishin Wick and Ilia Shinko Perez. In 2008, Mui received Novice Monk Ordination and in 2017, he received full Tokudo, Zen Priest Ordination.

White Plum Asanga

The Venerable Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi arrived in the United States from Japan in 1956. In 1967, he founded the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi received Dharma Transmission from Maezumi Roshi in 1990. Ilia Shinko Perez Roshi received Dharma Transmission from Wick Roshi in 2000. Click here for more about the White Plum Asanga.

Zen History

Zen is the style of Buddhism that comes from China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. When a religion travels to a new culture, that religion is influenced and shaped to meet that particular culture's needs and lifestyle. When Buddhism spread from India to China and Japan, it was infused with the current cultural and religious practices of the time, such as Taoism and Confucianism from China, and Shinto from Japan. When Zen came to the United States in the mid-1900s, it was influenced by the beat and hippie movements. As Zen has matured in the U.S., it has been heavily influenced by psychotherapy and the self-help movement. Many modern Zen Teachers are counselors, psychologists, naturopathic doctors, Tai-Chi and Yoga teachers, and artists. Finally, it is of importance to mention that before its spreading from the East Asian cultures to the developed West, Zen meditation was largely practiced by ordained monks and priests. There were other practices that were less vigorous for the laity. In the United States, the vast majority of Zen meditation practitioners are everyday people with jobs and families. 

Zen Practice

We sit to realize our inherent enlightenment and to serve others who are suffering from discontent in their lives. The core of Zen Buddhist practice is meditation, or zazen. We learn to meditate while sitting still so that we can slowly learn to carry that meditative mind into every aspect of our daily lives. A beginning meditator will often seek out meditation with the hopes of bringing some peace to their chaotic minds and their stressful lives. Zazen does just that! They may even be looking for some physical healing. Zazen is no guarantee for physical healing, but any seasoned practitioner can speak to the healing powers of meditation. The calming effects of meditation can be seen right away. The life-changing effects take longer. Meditation is a life-long practice. 

The Pieces of the Puzzle

Zazen. Seated meditation

Kinhin. Walking meditation

Samu. Work Practice. This is the practice of taking meditation into everyday life activity.

Sesshin. Retreat. Multi-day retreats are a part of any dedicated practitioner's life. 

Teacher-Student Relationship. At some point along the practitioner's path, they have seen the transformative power of meditation and are ready to take the next step. This next step involves making a connection with the Teacher and formally becoming a student.

Sangha. Community. As a practitioner regularly attends meditations, they will naturally come to know the other practitioners. It is the container provided by group meditation that makes it possible for each of us to meditate for longer periods of time. At home on our own, it can be difficult to find the motivation to meditate. It's nice to have a community of others who understand the path you are walking.

Becoming a Buddhist

Like most religions, there is a set of steps toward becoming a Buddhist. Continued attendance and dedication to the practice, the teachings, the community, and the teacher are the main prerequisites. Beyond that, it comes down to a conversation with the Teacher and you both will come to a decision about your readiness.