Special Events

Currently Scheduled Special Events

Sangha Breakfast September 12

Once a month we will be hosting a light brunch following Sunday service. The Board of Directors will provide the first meal. Moving forward, we'll post a sheet where 5-6 Sangha members can sign up to bring in something for all to enjoy.

Join us for good food and conversation! Hope to see you there!

Join us for an invasive pull workday to help remove destructive invasive plants at Stage Nature Center!

You will use hand tools such as loppers and saws and shovels to remove invasive species such as Garlic Mustard, Dame’s Rocket, Buckthorn, Autumn Olive, Oriental Bittersweet, and many more. No experience necessary, but come prepared with proper attire for working outdoors in off-trail areas.

Invasive pull workdays are scheduled throughout the year. Both registered volunteers and one-time volunteers, ages 14 and up are welcome. One-time volunteers will need to sign hold harmless & photo release at day of event.

A volunteer workday for adults is planned for Saturday, September 25th 9am – 12 noon.

Obon Dinner

We're excited to invite you to spend the evening with us as we celebrate the Obon holiday. We will be hosting a special dinner party on Friday, October 1, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Dharma Gate Zen Center.

The dinner will be curated by Reverend KoGen, an accomplished chef. He was formerly the chef of Union Joint Group with restaurants like Vinsetta Garage and Union Woodshop and is now the chef at Avenue American Bistro in Wayne.

This will be a casual style dinner, consisting of a number of traditional foods, reimagined: Charred fennel and apple salad with cider vinaigrette and pepitas, Aka miso tomato soup with grilled cheese wonton, Grilled fall vegetable soba salad, Maple wasabi sweet potato mash, Okonomiyaki with wild mushroom caramelized onion and butternut squash, Mochi ice cream

Space is limited to 40 guests. Please RSVP here. The $25 cost includes dinner and refreshments. Online payments can be made here.

Special Event Descriptions

Buddha's Birthday (Vesak)

Join us for one of our biggest holidays of the year. We will celebrate the birth, life and passing of the man we refer to as The Buddha. During this special service we typically hold a precept ceremony, baby blessings as we accept both young and old formally into our sangha.

Obon / Ullambana

One of the three holidays we celebrate at DGZ each year, Obon/Ullambana is a time of reflection of what has passed each year...and a renewal for that which is to come. Join us for this special service during our regular service. We will also be gathering for a potluck lunch together after the service is complete.

Obon Dinner

We hold a special dinner each year to join together with our sangha members prior to our Obon celebration. This will be a casual style dinner, with special dishes curated by Rev Kogen, Chef and noted Restauranteur. The dinner will consist of a number of traditional foods, reimagined... We will announce the dates, donation amount and menu as we get close to the event date. 

Awakening Sitting

Every year we gather to sit as the Buddha did during the night of his awakening. Our service will have additional readings, teachings and an opportunity to challenge your practice. All are welcome to help celebrate this important day. We will have a special service for one hour and an additional hour of meditation after the service.


Taking the five basic precepts is a way to show your commitment to the path of the Buddha. We typically start the process in January each year providing an our members to apply to be part of the Dharma family that year. Home practice is required, leading up to our Buddha's Birthday event when preceptor will take part in the ceremony and accept the three refuges and the five precepts. Dharma families will receive a unique Dharma name each year.

Monk n' Munch

On occasion we gather after service as a Sangha outside of our Center to meet with Hoden Sunim and ask questions about Zen, Buddhism, practice and more, over tea, coffee and lunch. See the schedule at the top of the page to see when the next date and location has been set.

Fund Raising Events


Each year over the weekend of Obon / Ullambana we hold a sit-a-thon fundraiser. We use this time to raise funds that to go to the cost and expenses of keeping DGZ open each week. We will announce in the fall each year how participants can sign up for their race/sit packet.

We will kick off our sit-a-thon at 12:00 noon on a Saturday and will have 25 minute periods of meditation with a 10- minute break. Ask friends to sponsor you through as many sessions as you can sit! It's a great challenge for your practice, and it helps DGZ raise funds to continue our mission to be a place for people to come and sit together. 

Participants can come at any point during the sit-a-thon and sit for as many sessions as they can.