Mount Equity Zendo, Jiho-an is a meditation center within the Soto
Zen 'Shiikantaza' tradition of Buddhism, dedicated to the
practice of 'Just Sitting". A later branch developed
which included the practice of 'Sitting Koans' in the Zendo,
while Dogen taught "Studying Koans' in the study room.
The heart of Zen is the cultivation of equanimity, patience,
clarity, and compassion, supporting good health within
one’s personal life as well as in the wider community.
MEZ is located in the village of Pennsdale, PA
overlooked by Bald Eagle Mountain and not far from the Susquehanna
River. It is a 20-minute drive west to the city of Williamsport
or south to Interstate 80.
Mount Equity Zendo
Jihoji and Jiho-an
the large manor of Mt. Equity was sold in order to downsize, and an
1850s house, less than a mile away and next door to the circa-1799
Quaker Meeting House, became the new Mount Equity Zendo practice place.
"Mt. Equity Zendo, Jihoji" means: Meditation place on a mountain of equanimity, a temple of compassionate teachings. "Mt. Equity Zendo, Jiho-an" means: Meditation place on a mountain of equanimity, a cottage or hermitage of compassionate teachings, marking that only the size of our practice place has changed.
View from the MEZ Jiho-an Barn
The building that served MEZ was originally an
manor that dated back to 1810. In the 1940s it
was turned into an apartment building, housing, among others,
Abbess Dai-En’s family. When the Abbess returned from
15 years of Zen training in Japan she rented one of the apartments
and began offering classes and retreats in meditation.
After a few more years, with the help of a growing
number of students and MEZ Friends, it became possible to make
use of more of the apartments. In 1998 MEZ was incorporated
and became a 501(c)3 non-profit religious organization, and
in 2000 MEZ purchased the building to serve as a Zen Meditation
Center. The building was sold by MEZ in 2014.
Mt. Equity Sangha "wall gazing"
Thanks to the on-going support and generosity
of MEZ Friends, both in the United States and Japan, Abbess
Dai-En was officially appointed as abbess of MEZ in May of 2005
by the Soto Zen School in Japan.
retreats and classes are available for those with little or no
experience in meditation
, as well as for seasoned practitioners
Abbess Dai-En is also available to officiate for
weddings, baby blessings, funerals, and memorial ceremonies.
MEZ is a member of the American Zen Teachers' Association, the
Association of Soto Zen Buddhism, and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.