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ABOUT - Lincoln Zen Center

Lincoln Zen Center is a non-profit organization that offers resources and instruction on Zen Buddhism. We welcome people of all backgrounds and religious paths, offering opportunities for people to practice Zen through its various activities and outreach in Nebraska and beyond.


Donations are our only funding source, therefore we greatly appreciate your generous donations.  All our sessions are donation based and your donation of $5~10 each time or a monthly pledge will help us continue to spread the Dharma in our community.

What is Zen? by The Soto Zen Buddhist Association

The heart of Zen is selfless meditation; its goal is to be awake to one’s universal condition, beyond the transiency and concerns of everyday affairs. Soto Zen offers a quiet, disciplined practice that enables us to express our inherent wisdom and composure by expanding awareness and setting aside distractions. As the mind increases its capacity to respond creatively to difficulties that arise amid the tensions of a pressure-filled life, stress is replaced by confidence and buoyancy. By seeing into the Truth of one’s own nature, the anxiety of self-orientation is transformed into an attitude of equanimity and caring.

Soto Zen practice encourages paying attention to the workings of one’s own mind and to the discovery of each persons’ potential for compassion and universal connection with all life. It places particular importance on living mindfully in all dimensions of daily life, including family, work, and community. Through the unfolding of selflessness, Zen practitioners expand their inherent qualities of generosity, patience, kindness, humor, and wisdom.

How do we practice at LZC?


There is a common preconception that Zen practice is to stop the thinking, however, that is not true. In the book Training in Compassion, Zen teacher Norman Fischer described spiritual practice changes our minds. We can begin to notice our unsuccessful repetitive patterns of thinking and feeling. We can begin to see their consequences. We can begin to cultivate new ways of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting. Our basic patterns over time will be different as we train our minds with intentional techniques and practices, and this will influence our relationships and our sense of ourselves and the world.


Furthermore, there is no “goal” in meditation. We simply meditate. Letting go of thoughts means that we do not get carried away by our thoughts. When we recognize that we are getting snared by the story line, we gently guide ourselves back to the breath. That is letting go of thought, no goal, just a continuous practice.

Mike Mattison
(Yin Shàn)

Yin Shàn was authorized as Doan in early 2012 and ordained Upasaka (Jukai) in 2014. He also serves on the Board of Directors.

Joyce Chao
(Gûo Chéng)

Joyce started attending the center in 2015 and began leading meditation in 2017. She grew up in a buddhist family in Taiwan and began studying Chan (Zen in Chinese) with Master Shen Yeng in 1999.  She also serves on the Board of Directors.

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