About the Brattleboro Zen Center

The Brattleboro Zen Center was founded in early 2021, during the covid-19 pandemic. It was started with the intention of creating a zen practice community in Southeastern Vermont, offering sanctuary to anyone looking for connection, spiritual companionship, guidance, and structure on the path of awakening. The primary practice that we engage in together is zen meditation, known as zazen (sitting zen) in Japanese. In the tradition of Soto Zen, meditation is a communal activity and awakening is a collective matter. We wake up together, not alone. We aspire for our practice of zen to help heal and change the world, and for our own awakening and healing to occur through our relationships to the world and all its inhabitants.

We welcome everyone to this community of practice, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.




Hakushō Johan Ostlund

Head Priest

Hakushō Johan Ostlund is a Soto Zen priest ordained in the Shunryu Suzuki Roshi lineage. Hakusho trained in residence at the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) for 14 years, both at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Hakusho’s interest in Buddhism and Buddhist practice first arose during college while studying Human Ecology in Sweden, his country of origin, which lead to a yearlong journey through monasteries and retreat centers in India and Thailand. At the conclusion of this journey, Hakusho entered residence at Green Gulch Farm, as an apprentice in their organic farm and garden program. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest by Green Gulch Farm Abiding Abbess Furyu Nancy Schroeder in 2012, and served as Shuso (Head Student), under her guidance in 2016. During his time in residence at SFZC, he held numerous temple administrator positions, including those of Tanto (Head of Practice), Ino (Head of the Meditation Hall), Treasurer, and Guest Student Manager.

Hakusho is currently completing a Masters of Divinity degree remotely at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California, with a focus on Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care. He moved with his wife to Vermont in 2020.

In his role of Zen priest, meditation teacher, and Sangha leader, Hakusho seeks to convey the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha as it has been transmitted to him through his teachers. He sees the paths of personal and collective liberation as inseparable from each other.

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Donations to Brattleboro Zen Center

Brattleboro Zen Center is funded solely by donations. As we prepare to move several of our practice offerings from Zoom into a physical space in Brattleboro at the beginning of 2022, we are purchasing cushions and altar supplies right now. During this season of giving we welcome donations to help us cover these current expenses as well as our modest operating costs for the next year. A little goes a long way, a recurring donation goes even further.