Mt. Equity Sangha is a community of Soto Zen Buddhist practitioners living in the mid-Atlantic region and Fargo, North Dakota. We follow the Shikantaza tradition which is dedicated to the practice of “just sitting” and are guided by our teacher, Reverend Patricia Dai-En Bennage Roshi, who retired as Abbess of Mt. Equity Zendo in Pennsdale, PA in 2017.
The Mt. Equity community continues to study and practice in the Soto Zen tradition in Lewisburg, PA with Rev. Dai-En, and with lay teachers and senior precepted students in other Pennsylvania locations in State College, Harrisburg and East Berlin, as well as in Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN and Baltimore, MD. Our sangha is committed to continuing the teachings at the heart of Zen practice: the cultivation of equanimity, patience, clarity and compassion, and the support of good health within one’s personal life as well as in the wider community.
Information about our practice locations and contacts for each can be found below. Information about specific meditation activities can be found on the Events page. We welcome newcomers and experienced practitioners alike and ask that you contact the particular practice location in which you are interested prior to your first visit.
Reverend Dai-En Bennage teaches and hosts evening zazen and special events.
Moon-on-the-Lake Zendo, East Berlin, PA
Moon-on-the-Lake Zendo is a Soto Zen practice place in South Central Pennsylvania. It was started by lay teachers Barbara Tokuen Gray and Marcy Daijun Brenner. The zendo consists of space in both teachers’ homes that is set aside for weekly meditation, instruction and weekend practice. Currently, weekend events lasting two or three days occur once every two months. Located on the shores of Lake Meade in rural East Berlin, PA, close to Harrisburg, York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and State College, the setting offers practice in a serene natural setting. Sangha members include precepted students trained by Rev. Dai-En at Mt. Equity Zendo as well as newer students. New and experienced practitioners alike are welcomed and encouraged to participate after consultation with the teachers.
Six Rings Sangha, State College, PA
Six Rings Sangha was started in 2002 in State College, PA as a local satellite sangha of Mt. Equity Zendo. Our weekly gatherings include seated (zazen) and walking (kinhin) meditation, chanting, dharma talks or shared reading with discussion and, once a month, a brief service. We practice in a manner consistent with Soto Zen as transmitted through the lineage of our teacher, Rev. Dai-En Bennage. Newcomers are always welcome. Meetings are on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00pm eastern time at a renovated one room school house in Linden Hall, just outside of State College. Mary Keien Boutselis, who received lay teacher entrustment from Rev. Dai-En Bennage in 2021, guides the group. Instruction is offered for those who are new to Zen and individual meetings prior to our gathering may be arranged. Meditation cushions and chairs are provided as needed.
A special note: Due to COVID restrictions and cautions, we continue to meet weekly to share our practice remotely through Zoom. Our gatherings include periods of seated (zazen) and walking (kinhin) meditation, shared reading and discussion, chanting and periodic dharma talks. We continue to welcome newcomers and those with a seasoned practice.
For information, contact: Mary Keien Boutselis at 814-883-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Long River Sangha, Harrisburg, PA
Long River Sangha (LRS) is a satellite sangha of Mt. Equity Sangha. We are located in Harrisburg, PA and have been meeting for over a decade. Our seated meditation practice is called Shinkantaza (just sitting) and is consistent with Soto Zen Buddhism as transmitted through the lineage of our teacher, Rev. Dai-En Bennage. Led by lay teacher Marcy Daijun Brenner, LRS meets every Monday from 6:30-8:30pm eastern time in her home (three vaccinated people total) and/or remotely on Zoom due to COVID safety precautions. The evening generally consists of teacher’s words, seated and walking meditation, chanting, and a shared reading with personal reflections expressed in the Dharma. Many of our longstanding practitioners are precepted students of Rev. Dai-En. Newcomers are always welcome and offered instruction.
For information, contact, Marcy Daijun Brenner at 717-712-2234 or email@example.com.
Open Land Sangha, Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN
We were co-founded in Februrary 2018 by lay teacher Nancy Nanshin White and dharma elder Tom Tomei Knapp. The founders adhere to the guiding principles of our teacher, Rev. Dai-En Bennage.
We meet by Zoom only on Monday evenings from 7-8:30pm central time. All are welcome and no experience is necessary. The seated meditation period is 30 minutes, followed by a shared reading and comments. New practitioners must consult with the teacher for an introductory session before joining the sangha. On Wednesdays, our programming is oriented to those with some experience of practice. We meet from 7-8:30pm central time in-person in Moorhead, MN and by Zoom. For the benefit to all beings, face masks are required for those who attend in person. On the second and fourth Fridays of the month, we offer one period of zazen by Zoom from 7-8am central time. Please see the Open Land Sangha website for information about additional events.
For more information, contact Nancy Nanshin White via openlandsangha.org .
Baltimore Dharma Group, Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Dharma Group is a small, urban sangha that aspires to serve Baltimore City as a dharma gate of joyful ease in the Soto Zen tradition. It was begun in 1999 by Zuijun Esho Gry Gambert Sensei (1952-2012) who trained with Glassman Roshi at the Zen Center of New York. We also benefit from a direct affiliation with Rev. Dai-En Bennage of Mt. Equity Sangha in PA, and have dharma connections to the Thich Nhat Hanh (Plum Village) and the Zen Peacemakers communities. BDG is run by a core group of lay practitioners. Sunday morning sitting and service is the core of our practice, from 8:00-9:30 am eastern time. Thursday evening class meets from 7:30 – 9:00 pm eastern time and consists of half an hour of meditation followed by Dharma readings and discussion. We practice at a Friends Meeting House in the city. There is currently an option to participate via zoom on both Thursday and Sunday. Before your first visit, please contact Myodo Christina Pham Linhoff at 410-458-2371 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Additional information can be found on our website at https://www.baltimoredharmagroup.org .