Our Community

Ten Directions Zen Community is a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen and has practice locations in Chicago and the Western Suburbs. We offer many opportunities for people to learn and practice in an open and supportive atmosphere.


Our Teaching of Zen

Our Zen tradition teaches keeping a clear mind and taking appropriate action in each moment and does not dwell on questions of metaphysics. Zen meditation helps us to see the present moment clearly in order to help others.

When we quiet the mind and look carefully at our experience, we see that this world is one of constant change and insecurity. Anything that arises in our life, no matter how hard we try to stabilize it, will pass away.

Ultimately we must abandon the selfish “I, my, me” mind. Whatever we do, the question should arise, is this for me or for all beings? The Buddha once said that this world is an ocean of suffering. So our job, each one of us, is to be mindful, appreciate this moment, indeed this life, attain a mind which is clear like space, and help save all beings from suffering.

Zen is keeping this clear mind always and everywhere. Keep Reading >>

We currently have three practice locations - one in Saint Charles IL and two in Chicago.

Visitors are always welcome.

Saint Charles

Wednesday evenings 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Saturday mornings 9:00 - 10:15 am
Sunday mornings 9:00 - 10:15 am

Retreat Sunday, January 15th, from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Our visiting teacher will be Ken Kessel, JDPSN, who received inka in April 1996. Ken began studying with Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1975. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been practicing as a psychotherapist since 1983, working with children and families in foster care, substance abuse, outpatient and inpatient mental health and therapeutic preschool settings, as well as in private practice. He specializes in infant and early childhood mental health. He recently moved back to the NY City area from Raleigh, NC. He is guiding teacher for New Haven Zen Center and teaches at the Chogye International Zen Center of New York, as well as at other Zen Centers and affiliates.

Bronzeville Neighborhood

Thursday evenings 7:00 - 8:30 pm
January 12th and 26th

Retreat Saturday, January 14th, from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.

The retreat will be led by Ken Kessel, JDPSN (see above).

Pilsen Neighborhood

Sunday mornings 10:00 - 11:30 am
Wednesday mornings 7:00 - 9:30 am


New to Zen? New to Our Community? Still have questions?