About Us

The Sydney Zen Centre is Australia’s original Zen Buddhist community. We are a lay community affiliated with the Diamond Sangha, which was founded by Robert Aitken Roshi who first visited Sydney in 1979 and then led annual sesshin (traditional Zen retreats) here for nearly a decade.

We recognise and pay respect to the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our city zendo sits.

We are a welcoming and inclusive sangha.

Changes have been made to our schedule to prevent the spread of Covid 19, including the cancellation of some events. Regular sitting on Monday and Wednesday evenings is now conducted online with the teachers and sangha. Please go to ‘Meditation’ to find out more.

The status of all other events is outlined under their name in the drop down menu ‘What’s On’ – ‘Upcoming Events’.


Regular sitting and walking meditation is offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7 pm to 9 pm, and once a month we have half day practice periods (zazenkai) at our city zendo (251 Young Street, Annandale). We also have retreats at our bush zendo, Kodoji, about two hours from Sydney.

If you’d like to learn more about Zen please visit our Newcomers page for information about joining us.

The Sydney Zen Centre also has a group that practises in the Blue Mountains. Please go to their website for details and contacts.

Sydney Zen Centre is managed by a Board which is elected at the Annual General Meeting. The current Board is: Kerry Stewart (Chair), Stephen Crump (secretary), Jason Koh (treasurer), Alex Budlevskis, Helen Sanderson, Julie Robinson, Zoe Thurner and Brendon Stewart.

Click here to view our Constitution.

2017 Autumn sesshin
2019 Spring sesshin

Spring comes with flowers, autumn with the moon, summer with breeze, winter with snow.

When idle concerns don’t hang in your mind, that is your best season.

Wu-men Hui-k’ai (1183-1260)

Our Zendos

The Sydney Zen Centre has two zendos. Our city zendo in Annandale and Kodoji, Ancient Ground zendo at Gorricks Run, in the Upper Macdonald Valley north of Sydney.

Our city zendo is where we gather weekly for regular zazen, non residential retreats (sesshin) and special events. It’s located at 251 Young Street, Annandale.

The Board has implemented changes in practice and ritual to prevent the spread of Covid 19 at our city zendo:

Please do not come to the zendo if you feel unwell, even if you have slight symptoms like a headache or lethargy

Please wash your hands thoroughly with soap when you arrive

Please greet your dharma friends with a gassho and smile rather than a hug

The zabutons and zafus have been spaced 1.5 metres apart to avoid close contact

There will be no distribution of sutra books, so you can practice reciting from heart

Teachers will be present on Monday & Wednesday evenings, but there will be no dokusan offered, to avoid close contact in a small space

There will be no tea provided after we sit, and please don’t use the cups or glasses provided for a drink of water. Alternatively, please bring your own water bottle, if you think you’ll be thirsty.


Our bush zendo is nestled in a deep valley beneath the high sandstone cliffs of Yengo National Park. Kodoji is approximately two hours north west of Sydney, near the small town of St. Albans. The facilities include a cottage equipped with a kitchen, dormitory style sleeping quarters, bush showers and a magnificent dojo (meditation hall).

We have meditation retreats (sesshin) at Kodoji in Autumn and Spring.

Curious about Zen Buddhism?

Check out our Newcomers page to learn more about what we do and how you can join us.

Join our mailing list to find out What’s On each week