Our Mission

The purpose of Santa Cruz Zen Center is to embody and communicate the teachings of the Buddha. Our understanding of the non-duality of compassion and wisdom, practice and realization, has been conveyed through the Soto School. The focus of our center is on integrating Zen practice and everyday life.

We offer daily meditation, weekly lectures, classes, workshops, workdays, one to seven-day meditation retreats and ceremonies.

Please feel free to come by for a visit, navigate this site to explore our offerings, or send in a question.



Santa Cruz Zen Center is guided by a practice committee comprised four of our teachers: Gene Bush, Kokyo Henkel, Patrick Teverbaugh, and Cathy Toldi, who provide spiritual and programming direction, and who each maintain an area of pragmatic responsibility.

A Board of Trustees, currently consisting of ten representatives elected by the Zen Center membership, meets monthly to establish long-term strategies and organizational goals, assure fiscal responsibility, conduct the annual appeal, and conduct evaluation of leadership positions. The board may release from service any leaders due to extraordinary circumstances (consistent with SCZC Ethics Statement and Grievance Procedure). The board oversees grievance proceedings and supports conflict resolution if the need arises.


The current Board of Trustees includes (front row, from left): Anais Schenk (president), Neti Parekh, Rachel Grad, and Ken Collins (secretary). Back Row: Sara McLellan, Jane Arny (treasurer), Will Peck, Rene Netter, and Mari Tustin (vice president).


Santa Cruz Zen Center
113 School Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
United States
(831) 457-0206

Santa Cruz Zen Center is a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization. Our TIN is 51-0163461


Name *

We’re just a (very) quick hop from downtown Santa Cruz!


We value inclusivity.

All are welcome to practice at Santa Cruz Zen Center:
all ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic classes, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities.
Our practice requires that we become aware of the habitual and often unconscious ways we perpetuate division.
We vow to utilize this awareness to cultivate connections rather than separation.
We work to assure that all people who come to practice here are seen and heard, respected and included.



Santa Cruz Zen Center is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers, and Branching Streams, the affiliate sangha network of San Francisco Zen Center. We are also a proud member of Out In Our Faith, Santa Cruz.

out in our faith logo