Mount Equity Zendo, Jiho-ji is a meditation center
within the Soto Zen 'Shiikantaza' tradition of
Buddhism, dedicated to the practice of 'Just Sitting".
A later branch developed which included the practice
of 'Sitting Koans' in the Zendo, while Dogen taught
"Studying Koans' in the study room. The heart of Zen
is the cultivation of equanimity, patience, clarity,
and compassion, supporting good health within oneís
personal life as well as in the wider community.
MEZ is now located in Lewisburg, PA a
short distance from I-80 and Route 15.
The History of Jihoji
"Mt. Equity Zendo, Jihoji" means: Meditation
place on a mountain of equanimity, a temple
of compassionate teachings.
The building that served MEZ was originally an old
that dated back to 1810.
In the 1940s it was turned into an apartment building,
housing, among others, Abbess Dai-Enís family. When the
Abbess returned from 15 years of Zen training in Japan
she rented one of the apartments and began offering
classes and retreats in meditation.
After a few more years, with the help of
a growing number of students and MEZ Friends, it
became possible to make use of more of the apartments.
In 1998 MEZ was incorporated and became a 501(c)3
non-profit religious organization, and in 2000 MEZ
purchased the building to serve as a Zen Meditation
Center. Thanks to the on-going support and generosity
of MEZ Friends, both in the United States and Japan,
Abbess Dai-En was officially appointed as abbess of
MEZ in May of 2005 by the Soto Zen School in Japan.
Equity Sangha "wall gazing"
In 2014 the large manor house in
Pennsdale that housed Mt. Equity was sold in order to
downsize, and an
1850s house, less than a mile away and next door to a
circa-1799Quaker Meeting House, became a temporary
refuge for practice. In 2017, Abbess Dai-En Bennage
Roshi moved from Pennsdale to Lewisburg, and continues
to offer the practice of zen meditation near the