Clear Mountain Zen Center

22 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair, NJ 07042

The Montclair, NJ Clear Mountain Zen Center was founded ten years ago by Carl Bachmann (Sensei), Deb Baretz,  Ray Cicetti and John Flynn (deceased).  Our teacher is Roshi Robert Kennedy, S.J. of the White Plum Asanga. We are led by Carl Bachmann, Sensei (teacher), Dharma Holder in the White Plum Lineage, and Jeff Kuschner, Densu (zendo administrator, master of ceremony, hospitality leader, head monk). We welcome all who are interested in the practice of zen meditation, regardless of formal faith affiliation.


We meet for  zazen (sitting meditation)  Sunday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday  mornings from 6 to 7 a.m, and Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30pm. The Sunday service includes four 25 minute periods of zazen each separated by a five minute kinhin (walking meditation) period. On most Sundays there is a brief talk on zen practice and daisan (Private interview with the teacher). There is a chant service at the end of the last meditation period on the first and last Sunday of the month. Finally, twice a month there is a discussion on a reading that has been assigned.

Events and notices

We hope to schedule zazenkai (one day sittings) and sponsor guest speakers and poetry readings in the near future.    


7 Oak Place is in Montclair, near the NJ Transit Walnut Street train station, at "The Mill At Walnut Street" professional buildingIt is also close to the entertainment district on Walnut Street, and is also close to Grove Street, a main north-south thoroughfare through Montclair.  From Grove Street, make a turn at the Walnut Street intersection to proceed west on Walnut Street. Immediately cross the NJ Transit railroad tracks, and make a right turn at Depot Square. Proceed north on Depot Square for about 1/8 mile, cross Label Street, and continue north for a short distance on Erie Street. The Mill building is on the left -- the most direct way to find our entrance is to proceed on Erie Street past the building to the corner of Oak Place, and make a left turn onto Oak Place. You can then either find street parking on Oak Place, or if it is not during weekday business hours, turn left into the rear parking lot and find a spot near that entrance. The 7 Oak Place glass door leading to the Clear Mountain Zen Center is close by, near a small building sign saying "Walnut Plaza".

Parking: There is parking at the Mill building that can be used by zendo participants on Sundays and before 9 am and after 6 pm on weekdays. There is also street parking on Oak Place and adjacent side streets.

7 Oak Pl


Carl Bachmann is a senior student of Roshi Robert Kennedy, and was installed as a Sensei by Roshi Kennedy in December, 2011.  He previously studied with Roshi Bernie Glassman and has been a practitioner of Zen for over 20 years.  He is an administrator in Social Services and is a psychotherapist in private practice.   Jeff Kuschner is an attorney and long-time Montclair resident and zen practitioner.

Guiding Teacher:   Robert Kennedy, S.J., Roshi

Robert Kennedy directs a number of communities practicing interfaith zen in the metro New York-New Jersey-Connecticut  area, all facilitated by his zen students.  He teaches Theology at St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ  and is a psychotherapist in private practice.  He is the author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians.  He was ordained a priest in Japan in 1965 and studied zen with Yamada Roshi in Japan, Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles, and Glassman Roshi in New York and  is part of  the White Plum Asanga lineage.   In 1991 he was installed as a Sensei and was given the honorific title Roshi in 1997.



Robert Kennedy, Morning Star Zendo, Jersey City, NJ

White Plains Zen, White Plains, NY

Ray Cicetti, Empty Bowl Zendo, Morristown, NJ

Joan Hoeberichts, Heart Circle Sangha, Ridgewood, NJ

Dennis Keegan, Empty Hand Zendo, Basking Ridge, NJ

White Plum Asanga

Our NEW WEB SITE, Clear Mountain Zen Center, Montclair

Contact us

Carl Bachmann, Sensei and Jeff Kuschner, Densu:

We welcome all of your comments and suggestions.