The Empty Hand Zen Center was originally founded as the Meeting House Zen Group, to offer a place for the practice and study of Zen Buddhism in Westchester County, New York. After over 20 years in rented spaces, we now own this brick industrial building in downtown New Rochelle. Right in the midst of the busyness of multi-cultural urban life, we have carved out an oasis of simplicity within which deep silence and stillness can be experienced. We are a non-residential lay practice center, not a monastery. Many monastic forms and customs do, however, help shape the container of our strong silent sitting practice. We also regularly explore and are nourished by the study of the Buddhadharma, the teachings within Zen Buddhism, as inspiration and encouragement for the spiritual journey. Those who practice here come from a great diversity of backgrounds, religions, professions, life-styles, and ages. It seems that the universality of this meditation does its work regardless of outward differences. Being together in silence builds a strong Sangha, or spiritual community, quite naturally. In addition, many find that everyday life is often profoundly touched by the capacity to see more clearly, to be more present, which grows with this practice.