Zen Center Community Engagement
ZenCenter instructors bring basic meditation techniques into the community so that young people and their families may learn effective methods of dealing with stress and anger in everyday life. Classes are taught at children’s residential centers, agencies, the county justice center, Auburn Prison, and after-school programs; special post-incarceration meditation classes and mindfulness training for teen parents address specific needs, while one agency’s developmentally disabled clients benefit from meditation offered weekly. We are the only organization in Syracuse teaching meditation to at-risk populations.
We teach meditation for wellness and stress reduction to employees, medical professionals, and educators at area corporations, medical facilities, and universities on their premises or in off-site workshops at the Zen Center. Positive feedback and requests for continued services have come from groups served thus far, including Syracuse University, where we received a grant of $15,000 per year for a Buddhist Chaplain to coordinate campus-wide wellness initiatives; POMCO insurance; National Grid; Carrier Corporation; Manlius Pebble Hill School; SUNY Upstate Medical Center; Syracuse City School District Nurses; Vera House; Hospice of Central New York; Cazenovia Bereavement Group; and HOME Inc. (Humanitarian Organization for Multicultural Experiences), for both staff and their developmentally disabled clients.
There is a real thirst in the community for what the Zen Center offers -- an age-old practice of mindfulness through which people of any background can cultivate innerpeace. There is growing recognition in all fields, from education and the arts to athletics and corporate life, that meditation can advance mental and physical health, reduce stress, help with anger management, and improve focus and productivity. The Zen Center of Syracuse is increasingly called to bring this life-enhancing and transformative skill to many different populations.