Southwind Sangha Sōtō Zen Association

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 25 March 2013.

Phone: 316-684-8819
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The Southwind Sangha is located in the Education Building of the Fairmount United Church of Christ. A room on the far south basement level houses the Southwind Sangha. As one enters the room, he or she will find a shelf for shoe storage. The group has a small lending library of books, movies, and other tools for learning about Buddhism. Information packets are available for people who are considering undertaking Buddhist practice. Cushions in the meditation room lie along the edges of the room, and one wall holds artwork by spiritual advisor Rev Elliston Roshi. On another wall are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Printed cards help visitors follow the chants.


The Southwind Sangha Sōtō Zen Association started out as a small meditation group in the early 1990s and has blossomed into a Zen Buddhist sitting group. The group affiliated with the Atlanta Sōtō Zen Center in 1997. Zenkai Taiun Michael Elliston-Roshi founded the Atlanta Center, one of the largest non-residential Zen centers in the United States, in the 1970s. The http://www.southwindsangha.orgweb site contains the further lineage of the Southwind Sangha.

Activities and Schedule

The center's activities naturally center around meditation and teaching. Zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation), and chanting are available weekly, and zazen instructions for newcomers, extended Dharma talks, and meditation retreats occur monthly. Spiritual advisor Michael Elliston-Roshi visits twice a year. For details, see the http://www.southwindsangha.orgwebsite.


The membership’s ethnic composition is primarily Caucasian, with a few Asians and African-Americans. The age range is from 18 to 75, with the most numerous age group being 40-60. The usual language is English, except for special events when scholars or advanced practitioners chant in Japanese.

Other Information

The Sangha and the Unitarian Universalist church do an admirable job of sharing the building and coordinating their schedules. Members of the Sangha enjoy each other's company and often gather for a meal after meditation.