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Fellowship for Intentional Community: Our mission is to support and promote the development of intentional communities and the evolution of cooperative culture.

Providence Zen Center

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Mission: residential Zen practice


Providence Zen Center is a residential spiritual community founded in 1972 by the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn to provide a place where his students could live and practice Zen together. In 1979 we moved to our current location about 20 minutes from the heart of Providence in rural Cumberland RI.

Most residents work outside the community and pay a monthly training fee (currently $675). This fee covers all primary living expenses (room, food, utilities). Food is bought and shared by the community, and community meals are cooked for the community several times a week on a primarily volunteer basis. The remainder of meals are prepared individually. Our spiritual practice is modeled after the practices of the Korean Zen tradition. Zen meditation practice consisting of sitting meditation, chanting, and bowing is offered twice daily in the early morning and evening, and residents are encouraged to practice together daily as their work schedule permits. In addition, residents may attend monthly weekend retreats as well as longer retreats held twice yearly in the summer and winter: these retreats are available to residents at no additional cost. We also have a large non-residential community which visits the center to attend practice, retreats, or other community events, and we offer our hospitality to other spiritual groups which rent our facilities to host their own retreats.

As a community we are committed to working towards greater sustainability. To this end we are transitioning to purchasing as much organic and local food as our budget allows, growing some of our own produce in the garden and greenhouse, and keeping chickens to help provide eggs for the community. We have installed low watt florescent fixtures and bulbs throughout the buildings. We are also working to retrofit the buildings to make heating in the winter more energy efficient. Last fall we replaced the remaining single pane windows in the original wings of the building with energy star rated replacement windows. In addition to this, we work to foster greater connection with the wider spiritual community through participation in ecumenical and interfaith groups, and have hosted interfaith retreats.


Physical Address
Providence Zen Center
99 Pound Road
Cumberland, Rhode Island 02864
United States

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