Zendo (禅堂) zen-dō,

a place where Zen is practiced.

The Midtown Atlanta Zen Center is a Buddhist congregation (Sangha) led by Zen Buddhist Priest, Marcus Joriki Barlow. The vision for MAZC is to create a place, a zendō, where practicing Zen Buddhists, and those interested in learning about meditation and the teachings of the Buddha (Dharma), can gather with a united purpose for community and to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha and ancestors through the practice of Zen meditation and study.

Some may find themselves asking "But I am interested in meditation not religion." All are welcome to come join in meditation with us. Zen is a Buddhist practice that is irrespective of   religion.

Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chan (禪), which traces its roots to the practice of the Sanskrit word Dhyana - meditation. It's practice stresses  self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others.

We welcome you to join for zazen, or seated silent meditation. We meet weekly on Sundays evenings. If you're interested in coming, please let us know. We are happy to answer any questions you might have or meet with you in person to explain more about Zen meditation and who we are. You can also follow us on Facebook (@Mindtown Atlanta Zendo) to receive updates on what we're doing, posts and photos from recent events, and teachings and posts from our teacher(s) and community.

I want to be part of a community where I feel that as a group we improve the world more than I can on my own.

- Holly Yeagle, MAZ member

Marcus Profile Pic

Marcus Joriki Barlow

Joriki Marcus Barlow is an Atlanta resident and Buddhist practitioner for the last 24 years.

He encountered the Buddhist teachings as an adult and they spoke to his condition. Although raised a Southern Baptist, he began to look at the teachings of Buddha (the Dharma), which gave him tools - such as meditation - as a refuge from the hectic and busy pace of life.

He first began practicing Zen Buddhism in 1993.  Upon moving to Atlanta in 1994, he began sitting at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, where in 2006 he took lay Buddhist precepts, under Zenkai Taiun Elliston.  Three years later, he took vows to become a Zen Buddhist priest and is currently training under Zen Teacher  Daishin Eric McCabe of the Zenfields Sangha in Ames, IA.

Joriki is actively involved as a mentor to those practicing zen and a facilitator for those interested in understanding more about Buddhism and Zen. He is active in his community, and enjoys gardening, travel, cooking, and time with his partner, Jim Stringfellow Jr.

25 kumun