soji zen center


Soji Zen Center’s outreach includes social engagement and service outside the Center—on and off the cushion. Soji students reach out to people who are facing major life challenges, such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, homelessness, hunger, discrimination, and end of life. We engage with veterans, the LGBT community and individuals in prison, as well as people at key developmental stages, most often youth and seniors. Listed below are examples of our social engagement and community outreach efforts.

Prison Work
  • Facilitated meditation groups at the Federal Detention Center of Philadelphia
  • Taught meditation to prisoners who were working on their GED as a part of their release from prison
  • Co-led a meditation workshop with Warriors Yoga at a youth summit for Chester Boys and Girls Club
  • Taught meditation to youth at Linden Hill Elementary School in Wilmington, DE
  • Trained Villanova University students in meditation to incorporate into their Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia (SREHUP), an entirely student-run homeless shelter
  • Provided instruction on Zen and meditation to religion classes at The Hill Boarding School
  • Educated students at Westtown School about the relevance of Zen Buddhism in modern American spirituality
  • Led a discussion on Zen and mindfulness to students at Salesianum High School as part of a series on mental health awareness
LGBT Community
  • Led meditation events at John C. Anderson apartments (LGBT-friendly senior apartment community in Philadelphia)
  • Led weekly meditation with the Rainbow Buddhist Meditation Group at the William Way Community Center in Philadelphia
The Homeless
  • Served the homeless population at Priests Faith, Food & Fellowship at Old St. Joseph’s Church and Arch Methodist Church in Philadelphia
  • Taught Tai Chi to seniors at Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley
Hunger and Basic Needs
  • Contributed non-perishable food items and donations on a regular basis to the Upper Darby Food Bank
  • Delivered holiday meals and gifts to a families at Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Brought a contemplative caregiving approach to visits with veterans in a local hospice setting
Addictions and Mental Illness
  • Offered a mindfulness and 12-Step Recovery program at William Way Community Center
  • Offered numerous meditation instruction programs to residents at RHD Womanspace Philadelphia, a female residential treatment program for dually-diagnosed chronically homeless women
  • Shared the benefits of meditation at local support groups

Support our programs and offerings!