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Residential Practice

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center offers a unique opportunity for Buddhist practice. It is a place where we learn about Buddhism, not only through meditation and study, but also by through working and living together in ordinary situations. This emphasis on activity, on our everyday life, is traditional in Zen Practice. At Green Gulch, beginning students as well as priests and lay people with many years of experience in Zen Practice, live and work together, "negotiating the Way."

The residential community consists of about 55 people including full-time staff members, short-term residents, and children. Our schedule throughout the year includes zazen (meditation), sutra chanting, lectures, discussions, work and individual instruction with Green Gulch priests and lay leaders.


Visiting Students

Green Gulch has a variety of ways to be in residence.

Guest Practice Retreatants stay in our guest facilities, join residents in early morning meditation and work with the community until noon, with afternoons and evenings free. This is a good way to combine a private retreat with participation in the life and practice of the community. The program is available Sunday through Thursday, with a three-night minimum. You can find a schedule, rates and booking information on our Guest Retreats page.

Guest Students reside in student housing and participate in the full meditation and work schedule and attend classes, lectures, and ceremonies. This program offers short-term residency to those interested in beginning or deepening Zen practice with the support of a community. There is a seven-day minimum. Cost, schedule, program description and an application are on our Guest Student page.

Practice Period is an opportunity to live in our community and intensify your practice over an eight week period, through increased meditation and study and contact with Zen Center teachers. These are times of intensive formal Zen training emphasizing zazen, ceremonies, study and daily work. Practice Period students commit to be in residence for the entire term. Space permitting, we may also accept short-term participants.

Green Gulch offers two 8-week Practice Periods each year. They begin in October and February, and end with a 7 day sesshin. A 3 1/2 week "Intensive" which includes a 5 day sesshin is held in January.

Work Practice Apprentices participate fully in the daily life of the residential community in three-month or six-month residential programs. Work apprentices reside in student housing and are asked to remain at Green Gulch during the first month of residency. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for Practice Period scholarships. A two-week stay as a guest student is prerequisite for applying for this program. For more information and an application see our Work Practice Apprenticeship Program web page.

The Farm and Garden Apprenticeship is a six-month apprenticeship in Zen practice and organic farming and gardening. The apprentices join the meditation and class schedule and focus on farm and garden work and study. Apprentices earn two practice periods. The program runs from mid-April to mid-October. A two-week stay as a guest student is a prerequisite for applying for the program. For more information and an application call 415.354.0420 or email Green Gulch Farm and Garden.