About Us

sunset through treesBread Loaf Mountain Zen Community began in 2017. Since the beginning, Zen-inspired direct service in our local community has been our guiding practice. We support personal liberation, social transformation and spiritual flourishing.

Where you can visit us

On July 1, 2024 we will be moving from our first home in Cornwall, VT. Our center will open again after renovations to our new home in downtown Middlebury in the spring of 2025. In the meantime, please join us either at Gather on Merchants Row in Middlebury, or online for meditation or one of our many workshops or retreats.

You can send us an email for information: info@breadloafmountainzen.org

For a Zoom link for our daily meditation you can register here.

Visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/VermontZen/.

Guiding Teacher

The guiding teacher is Brian Joshin Byrnes, a Zen priest and teacher in the White Plum Asanga of Maezumi Roshi and Zen Peacemakers Order. Read more about Joshin.

Our Vision, Mission, and Values

Our vision: We envision a world where all beings flourish, are honored, and their basic goodness is recognized and nurtured. Our dedication lies in advancing a down-to-earth, accessible Zen practice, deeply rooted in community involvement. We encourage our global sangha to embody the same commitment. Our aspiration is to foster a sense of belonging without othering, and to alleviate the suffering caused by loneliness, alienation, and marginalization.

Our mission: We fulfill our vision in many ways, including:

  • being a hub of practice that builds, trains, and supports an active network of Zen Peacemaker Community-Engaged practitioners;
  • offering Zen Practices such as daily meditation, weekly talks, periodic retreats, study and practice groups, bearing-witness practice periods, and teacher-student relationships;
  • engaging in social action projects such as Gather, StreetGreens, Peacemaker Quilts, Mindful Recovery, and pop-up projects like Food for Families;
  • supporting community ministry and offering direct spiritual care to all who request it; and
  • facilitating Bearing Witness Plunges and Street Retreats.


Our values:
Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community's home with spring tupis

  • Imagination: We meet the world with creativity.
  • Generosity: We reflect natural abundance of being.
  • Ethical Conduct: We act in solidarity, following the Zen precepts without self-importance.
  • Patience: We use difficult circumstances to seek spiritual insight and grow in compassion.
  • Joyful Effort: We practice propelled by care and love, not by power or force.
  • Meditation: We stabilize our shifting mind and heart and cultivate loving awareness.
  • Wisdom: We seek insight in all that we do and we learn by doing.