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Coming of Age Program 2014-2015

Photo by Sara Tashker

For 7th and 8th Grade Boys and Girls

September 2014 - May 2015
Cynthia Hager, Program Coordinator
Fu Schroeder, Program Director

Opening Day
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Green Gulch Farm
Wheelwright Center
9:30 am - noon

We request that both parents attend the Opening Day, if possible, at which time we will ask you to participate in a special ritual to acknowledge this remarkable time in the lives of both you and your child.

After the opening ritual, the parents will have time to meet together, introduce themselves to each other and discuss how to use the time we have together during the year. Lunch following the meeting, for COA youth, is included with the program. Additional family members may join them at a suggested $10 per person.


Just as Siddhartha left the innocence and protection of his childhood palace to seek his own path and to discover what he had to bring into the world, so must all young people leave the total dependence of childhood behind and embark on the important and complex journey towards adulthood.

The Zen Center Coming of Age Program aims to offer guidance and support that facilitates youth in their journey towards forging new connections to themselves, their community and the environment. It is also a formal celebration of that journey. We hope you will join us! Both new and returning students are welcome.

  • The boys' and girls' groups meet separately every month for nine months on Sunday mornings from 9:30 am until noon at Green Gulch Farm. The meetings culminate in a Coming of Age Ceremony in the zendo in May, in which participants are honored and witnessed by their friends and family.
  • The curriculum for the program is based on Norman Fischer’s book Taking Our Places. Central activities include meditation, group council, ritual, journaling and physical challenges. The program fosters in youth the ability to investigate with confidence the tools that will enable them to discover their path and take their place in the world as young adults. The form and content of the program will be primarily based on Buddhist practice and teachings, yet open to the cultural and religious backgrounds of the participants.
  • Each group consists of 10 to 12 youths. The mentors bring many years of commitment to Buddhist principles and practice to help prepare these youth for the challenging transitions ahead.


All meetings begin at 9:30 am on the deck between the library and the Wheelwright Center. Meetings end at the same place at noon. Please pick your child up at the end of the meeting. You are invited to stay for lunch. Lunch for the youth is included in the program tuition and the cost for other family members is a $10 donation.

Parents who would like to participate can also meet on the deck between the library and Wheelwright Center, and then move to an available meeting location (usually the small dining room) for “tea and a chat” with Program Director, Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder.

Twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring, we can have a longer meeting if the parents would like to do so, from 9:30 - 11 am. We can discuss this option once the program begins.

2014-2015 Schedule (subject to change)
September 21 (Opening Day Ceremony)
October 11 (Girls' sleepover weekend)
October 25  (Boys' sleepover weekend)
November 23
December 28
January 11
February 8
March 14 (Girls' sleepover weekend)
March 21 (Boys' sleepover weekend)
April 12
May 10 (Completion Ceremony)

The completion ceremony begins at 9:30 am for the youth. Families and their guests should arrive by 11:15 for the ceremony in the zendo. We encourage families and guests to attend the morning lecture, which will be relevant to the Ceremony. After the ceremony there will be a reception on the pool deck. Families will be encouraged to bring a pot luck and desserts for our celebration.

More details will be given concerning the overnights and the completion ceremony as we get closer to the time of those events.

We are so grateful for your interest in our program and look forward to meeting you and your child.

Contact Information

Should you have questions regarding the program, we would be happy to answer your questions directly. Contact Cynthia Hager, Program Coordinator, at (415) 302-5896 or cynhager@gmail.com.


$800; $720 SFZC members, $640 low income.
Note: Scholarships may be available; please call 415.389.0308.


To register please complete the registration form [PDF] and return it to:
Green Gulch Farm
Coming of Age Program Registration
1601 Shoreline Hwy
Sausalito, CA 94965

Parents of participants must also provide (to remain confidential):
Medical Information [PDF]
Medical Release Form [PDF]