Zen meditation and mindfulness in the modern world

A tradition of simple yet powerful daily practices, refined over 2,500 years.

Learn how to open your mind, body, and energy to a deeper flow of health, happiness, wisdom, and fulfillment.

Daily practice is the way in. Step by step, you can transform your consciousness, dissolve your stress, and come alive. It’s been working for generations.

 

COME LEARN HOW

Sign up here to receive our free PDF guide, “How to Create a Life-Changing Home Meditation Practice,” which you can put into practice today!

You’ll also receive our email newsletter, “Stream Notes,” with warm & practical reflections and insider updates.

Benefits of a daily Zen practice include:

  • Relief from stress, fear, and pressure
  • Vibrant health and well-being (including better sleep, focus, calm, presence, compassion, and connection)
  • Peace, clarity, and joy (even bliss!) about your life
  • Enhanced creativity, vision, insight, and problem-solving
  • Heightened senses, awareness, and gratitude
  • Stronger energy, grounding, and balance
  • Root-level healing of past pain, trauma, anxiety, depression, chronic pain & illness, tension, difficult emotions, confusion, painful habits, limiting beliefs, and more, in your mind, body, and nervous system
  • Discovering a deeper connection to the present moment, yourself, others, and the world around you
  • Waking up to who you really are, and coming into alignment with your most genuine and meaningful life
  • And more…
ABOUT

Welcome! Entering the Stream is a teaching organization and community for Rinzai Zen meditation and mindfulness in the modern world. We are based in Washington, DC, and online everywhere.

Our practices are remarkable and powerful, grounded in a dynamic and highly transformational tradition from the mountains of central Japan (embodied by our teacher in Japan, Zen master Shinzan Miyamae), first taught in the West by Zenways (our parent group in central London, founded by Zen master Julian Daizan Skinner).

Starting a daily Zen practice will change your life. For generations, the results have been simple, guaranteed, and yet extraordinary.

You can wash away stress at deep levels, come alive, discover more about who you really are, and come into balance with the life most meant for you.

Our teacher and founder (Mary Hartley Platt, PhD, Oxford University) has experienced firsthand (and continues to explore every day) the embodied peace, healing, transformation, and freedom that Zen practice can create.

It’s easy to learn and get started. Come experience it for yourself…

LEARN MORE

"Mary Hartley is a Zenways teacher under my guidance, and I highly endorse her teaching and practice. She has excellent character, and a remarkable experience of her own life having been transformed by Zen practice. She has a very bright presence in teaching, which is an inspiration to witness. She has important work to do, and a strong resolution to change the world and reduce suffering."
–Zen master Julian Daizan Skinner, founder of Zenways in London, UK, www.zenways.org
"You are a profile in utter, amazing courage. I can’t wait to see how you keep integrating this [modern trauma healing skills] into your Zen and mindfulness teaching. What an honor to be part of your work! Your teaching is so profound as you keep adding in your heart and soul and the power of embodied transformation. I am smiling and filled with joy as I listen. Big bow to you, Mary Hartley!” -Deirdre Fay, trauma expert and founder of Becoming Safely Embodied in Arlington, MA, www.dfay.com
“It has been comfortable and nurturing. Mary Hartley’s teaching has been clear, understandable, doable, and vastly valuable to me. I am feeling eager, encouraged, and delighted to have embarked on a daily practice and to feel that I am making it a vital, critical part of my routine day. I did not imagine I would receive this beautiful gift. MH’s luminescent personality is so attractive I want to follow her like lemmings to the sea! Engage, sign up, and don’t look back!”
–student in Arlington, VA
"It's changing my life. Probably more than anything I have done since I stopped smoking and drinking 20 some years ago."
–student in Arlington, VA
“Mary Hartley, you are a light in this world. You (and my practice with you) are helping to spread light in the otherwise somewhat dismal world we find ourselves in.”
–student in New York, NY
"The 'Zen Circle' group meditation classes with Entering the Stream have given me the space and courage I needed to reflect self-critically on my place in a gradually awakening global society. The results have been transformational and would not have been possible without the warmth and gentle patience of Mary Hartley's teaching."
–student in London, UK
"I came to meditation with little to no experience. My hopes were simply to encourage a little self-care through regular practice, and to find a way to help me unwind in times of anxiety and stress. As an early career academic, it can be easy to lose sight of the beauty of the moment – there never seems time to simply stop and stare. By the end of eight weeks of careful and patient guidance by Mary Hartley, I had achieved much more than I intended to. The results were remarkable. After just a few weeks I was sleeping better (having not even noticed I was suffering from mild insomnia), feeling more energised in body and mind, and able for the first time in my adult life to just enjoy the moment. An unexpected side-effect was a surge in productive creativity. My creative focus has expanded in ways I could never have predicted. Yet another effect was a boost to my immune system. Having never managed to get through a full term's teaching and research without falling ill, I am energised and full of vim and vigour. My colleagues, friends, and family have all noticed a difference – I've recommended Zen meditation to all of them with a zeal I am sure is characteristic of newcomers! I cannot recommend MH's teaching warmly enough. She is a brilliant educator and guide and has given me a gift I will forever be thankful for."
–student in Oxford, UK
"I met Mary Hartley many years ago and was immediately struck by her depth, self-awareness, and the fact that she was one of the most intelligent people I had ever spoken to. At the time, I was teaching her a modality of neuroplasticity work and perceived her to be a sleeping giant, someone whose true potential was only beginning to be realized.

We went many years since meeting without speaking, but to my absolute pleasure, our paths crossed again recently. I was met by a woman in full bloom, overflowing with the most sincere and gorgeous light. I recognized this as the light of transformation, and in our subsequent meetings, I’ve learned and experienced myself and the world with more depth because of them.

I believe that those who have met their own dark night, if transformed, become some of the most powerful influencers, able to lead others out of the inner chaos and confusion. She is someone who is full of grace and humility and more power than she would probably ever admit, which is why I’m saying it here for her. In an oversaturated and increasingly more commercialized 'path to enlightenment' market, Mary Hartley’s sincerity, passion, and commitment to the purity and exploration of Zen meditation has left a lasting impression on me. If you feel called to Zen meditation, I cannot think of a better teacher to have with you (and I’ve met a lot)."
–Mika in Los Angeles, CA
"I can feel the great energy around her work. She's going to serve many people."
–colleague in Washington, DC
“Calming, wonderful, inspiring presence”
–student in Alexandria, VA
"I came to Mary Hartley’s 8-week course with minimal meditation experience. I completed the course with an understanding of the basics and approaches for applying meditation in my day-to-day life in practical ways that work for me. The pace of the course was just right. I had the opportunity to absorb and practice in between each weekly session. MH is truly gifted! I immediately felt at ease and open to new experiences in her presence. I would highly recommend!"
–student in Washington, DC
"I enjoy a rich sense of ease when I am with her."
–student in Reston, VA
“Learning how to meditate is good, but it’s best to do it right and Mary Hartley helps make that happen. As an instructor, she is superb. She is gentle, encouraging, insightful, grounded in Zen tradition and open to all other modalities of thought. However resistant you may be to finding time for this daily exercise, she will guide you in ways to focus on the quiet and regular rhythm of your breath, and you will start to want to do it, and then you will do it because you feel better doing it ... and then you ARE better. That’s why it’s good.”
–student in Washington, DC
"The practice group truly was wonderful. I had a deep meditation session."
–student in Leesburg, VA
"Mary Hartley, what a presence you have. Just listening to you brought a calm to my spirit that usually only happens when I stand by the sea. Well done, friend!!!!"
–Lisa Tillman, LCSW-C, colleague in Baltimore, MD
“I did an 8-week meditation course with Mary Hartley in the spring of 2017, during a period of great personal difficulty. As a mother, a wife, a friend, and an employee working full-time, I found that I was not able to find even five minutes in the day for myself. This course marked a segue in my journey – onto a new path in my life. I now feel more connected with myself, less anxious and fearful, more open, more courageous. My life today feels so much freer, so much more real, so much more centered, so much more joyful. I feel like I am a truer, more accepting, more beautiful version of myself, of Self. I am sincerely grateful for MH’s support through this time, her soft touch, her gentle encouragement and deep experience of what it means to live through trial and tribulation. For when we face our greatest darkness, pure light births.”
–student in Geneva, Switzerland
"Mary Hartley is an aware, sensitive and compassionate teacher and mentor. She listens, she hears how you are and reflects your own clarity back to you. She will encourage your own insight as she shares hers, and this is always empowering and truly helpful. Practice with her gentle encouragement and be supported into embodying your own Buddha nature."
–Dainei Tracy, colleague in Devon, UK
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” –W.B. Yeats
“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree. It completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.” –Matthieu Ricard
“When you let go a little, you’ll find life gets a little better. When you let go a lot, life gets a lot better! And of those who have genuinely experienced this rebirth, I’ve never heard of a single dissatisfied customer.” –Zen master Julian Daizan Skinner
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” –Mary Oliver