Sydney Zen Centre

Kodoji - SZC's Zendo at Gorricks Run
City Zendo

News and Events

SZC Newsletter

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Welcome to the home page of the Sydney Zen Centre

Welcome to the Sydney Zen Centre, Australia's original Zen Buddhist community, an affiliate of the Diamond Sangha founded by Robert Aitken Roshi who first visited Sydney in l979 and then led annual sesshin (traditional Zen retreats) here for nearly a decade.

Regular Activities

Sitting meditation group program

Regular sitting and walking meditation groups are offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7 pm to 9 pm, at the city Zendo (251 Young Street, Annandale).


The SZC offers monthly Sunday morning meditation groups (zazenkai) which are offered on the third Sunday of each month, from 8:30 am to 12 PM, at the city Zendo (251 Young St. Annandale). Each zazenkai includes a dharma talk.


Sesshin, or meditation retreats, are held each year at Kodoji, SZC's wilderness retreat centre at Gorricks Run and also at Annandale. 'Sesshin' means 'to touch the heart-mind' and is a time of intensive Zen training.

Study Groups

Dharma study groups are usually held four times a year. We are currently working through some chants including the Heart Sutra; Torei Zenji, Boddhisattva's Vow; Hakuin Zenji, Song of Zazen; and Shodoka. See 2011 Schedule for dates.

Contacting Us

Phone: (02) 9660 2993
Mail: Sydney Zen Centre, 251 Young Street, Annandale, NSW 2038.

Contact us by email for any further information. If you are looking for a Diamond Sangha nearer your home, please check our Links page.

Beginners' Orientations

These take place at 251 Young Street Annandale on Mondays at 6 pm, and Wednesdays at 6.45pm. All are welcome to participate in orientations to Zen Buddhist practice. We suggest you allow the time for the entire evening of zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation) and chanting, finishing at at 9 pm and followed by community tea. There is no charge, although we welcome donations as we are all volunteers and the sangha exists on members' fees and donations. Please wear loose dark, preferably black, clothing.

Orientations are available on Monday nights on the following dates. They take place only by appointment, so if you wish to attend an orientation you will need to email the person whose name is down for your preferred night. Please make contact at least 24 hours in advance.

November 28: Sue Bidwell -
December 12: Sue Bidwell -

Wednesday nights call Janet Selby on 0421 369 707 or email


Kodoji, Ancient Ground Zendo at Gorricks Run, nestles in a deep valley beneath the high sandstone cliffs of Yengo National Park. It is approximately two hours north-north west of Sydney near St. Albans. The facilities include a cottage equipped with a kitchen, dormitory style sleeping quarters, bush showers and a large and magnificent dojo (meditation hall).

For detailed information, go to the Calendar.

Supporting SZC

Donations towards SZC's many activities are most welcome from people who practice with us, prior to committing to membership (see Links). Your donations support the rental of the Annandale zendo, the upkeep of Kodoji, financial support for the teachers, and the many other activities of the group.

Buddhist Funerals and Memorial Services

The Sydney Zen Centre conducts annual memorial ceremonies for community members and their loved ones. Teachers and students may also contribute to SZC members' funerals.

However, as we are a lay Buddhist community, there are no priests or nuns to preside at Buddhist funerals or memorial services for the general public.

If you are looking for a priest, we suggest you contact Reverend Shigenobu Watanabe of the Hongwanji (Pure Land) Buddhist Mission, who is available for funerals and memorial services. 8901 4334 or 0412396014.