Weekly Practice

Mountain Rain Zendo
2016 Wall St. Vancouver, BC

Our venue and washroom are wheelchair accessible.

Mondays 7:30-9:00 PM (ZenYU--see below)

Wednesdays 7:00-9:00 PM

Sundays 10:00-12:15

Fridays 6:30-7:40 AM Early morning zazen: Doors open 6:15

Newcomers welcome. Basic meditation instructions, for beginners available 1⁄2 hour before start time at our evening and Sunday practice sessions. Others please arrive 15 min. before start time. Latecomers please sit in the entry hall until the sitting period ends, and come in at the beginning of walking meditation.

We have plenty of options for sitting gear: meditation cushions (zafu), benches, support cushions, and chairs. Beginners will be helped to find the right sitting gear for them.

Our Wednesday practice sessions are mostly dharma seminars, 4-6 week series on a particular text or theme led by our Guiding Teachers. The dharma seminar format is:

  • 25 minute sitting meditation (zazen)

  • 10 minute walking meditation (kinhin)

  • 25 minute sitting meditation (zazen)

  • informal talk by teacher

  • small group talking circle

On weeks between dharma talks the zazen periods there are two 30 minute zazen periods, a chanting service, followed by a reading/short talk and talking circle.

Our Sunday practice sessions include:

  • 30 minute sitting meditation (zazen )

  • 10 minute walking meditation (kinhin)

  • 30 minute sitting meditation (zazen)

  • Dharma talk by guiding teachers or sangha leaders.

  • Sutra chanting service

  • Informal tea in the kitchen

ZEN YU: Young Urban Zen

Mondays 7:30-9:00 (doors open at 7:00 and close at 9:30 — come and get acquainted)

Young Urban Zen is an informal drop-in practice group for people interested in sitting and walking meditation and how it relates to our daily life. Includes meditation, talking circle, tea and snacks. Informal talks by Mountain Rain Guiding Teachers once a month. 

ZenYU is facilitated by a group of Mountain Rain members who follow guidelines created together, with guidance from the teachers.

All experience levels and ages welcome. If you are new to meditation, we encourage you to come at 7:00 for a brief introduction.

We value and welcome diversity

By donation

For more info please contact: now.zenyu@gmail.com

Sunday Half-day Retreats

About eight times a year we have Sunday half-day retreats, 9:00-1:30. These retreats are a good way to get a taste of a Zen retreat experience. They include zazen, kinhin, dharma talk, service, and work period. A simple vegetarian lunch is served. By donation. No registration required.

It is fine to attend as much of the retreat as you are able to.

For upcoming half-day retreats, please check our events page:

Non-Residential Retreats

Mountain Rain holds several daylong and weekend retreats through the year led by our Guiding Teachers and one weekend retreat led by our Founding Teacher. 

For upcoming non-residential retreats, please check our events page:

Residential Retreats

Mountain Rain holds a yearly 6-day residential sesshin (intensive retreat) in November at Loon Lake Retreat Centre in Maple Ridge, BC, and a 4-day sesshin in July at Sea to Sky Retreat Center in Squamish, BC, and a 3-day women’s retreat at the end of May at Sea to Sky Retreat Centre.

Sesshin is an important way to deepen your practice, taking up the ancient monastic forms that guide us through the cycle of each day. We all participate not only in meditation practice, but in cooking, cleaning, and eating with traditional Zen oryoki (three bowls).

For upcoming residential retreats, please check our events page:

Fall Practice Period

The tradition of the intensive practice period dates back to the time of the Buddha when, during the rainy season, the Buddha and his disciples gathered in one place to meditate and study together. In Zen monasteries intensive practice periods traditionally last for three months. At Mountain Rain we hold an eight-weeks practice period each fall, designed to support participants to intensify and strengthen their practice while living in the midst of family and work responsibilities. Each person chooses his or her own level of involvement. 

Practice period is led by our guiding teachers, sometimes along with a shuso (head monk), a long-time practitioner whose role is to support the sangha through the practice period by offering a class, giving several talks, meeting for tea with participants, and cleaning washrooms, a traditional practice of humility. The opening weekend retreat begins with the Shuso Entering Ceremony and Loon Lake sesshin closes with a Dharma Inquiry Ceremony in which the shuso answers a question from each participant. 

Detailed information on our Practice Period is posted in our Events section each year. 

Dharma Seminars and Workshops

Our resident teachers lead various dharma seminars through the year, often as a 3-6 week series during our regular weekly practice on Wednesday evenings. Our practice leaders lead Introduction to Zen sessions usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Workshops are daylong events which use a more informal format to explore themes of applied meditation practice. Some recent workshop topics include:

  • Mindful Eating

  • Having Enough, Doing Enough, Being Enough

  • Transforming the Inner Critic

  • Finding the One Who is Not Busy

For upcoming classes and workshops, please check our events page:

Buddhist Perspectives on Death, Dying and Loss

We offer periodic Sunday afternoon gatherings and Saturday daylong retreats  to share perspectives and contemplative practices from Buddhist traditions on death and dying, caregiving, and loss in a safe, supportive community. Each meeting includes sitting meditation, walking meditation, a short talk, discussion and refreshments. 

Everyone is welcome. No previous meditation experience necessary. Plenty of chairs, meditation benches and cushions available.

Buddhist teachings and practices are presented in a non-sectarian and accessible format.

For upcoming events in this series, please check our events page:

Engaged Buddhist Practice

Engaged Buddhist Practice takes our meditation practice off the cushion into the world through social and ecological service and action. Mountain Rain sponsors periodic workshops, study groups and guest speakers in support of engaged Buddhist practice. Through our monthly newsletter we support sangha members who wish to link-up to participate in specific engaged Buddhist activities. 

For upcoming Engaged Buddhist Practice, please check our events page:

Zen Arts

Zen has a long history of association with arts such as calligraphy, poetry, ikebana (flower arrangement), pottery, garden design, sumie, and tea ceremony. When we engage in art-making from the deep source of contemplative practice, what emerges is beyond personal expression. 

Mountain Rain has hosted calligraphy workshops and haiku-writing retreats, and Dharma Film Nights. In 2018 we started a monthly Zen Poetry Circle.

For upcoming Zen Arts events, please check our events page:


The altar in Mountain Rain's Vancouver Zendo

The altar in Mountain Rain's Vancouver Zendo