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Zen Practice and Training at Tassajara

Life at Tassajara follows two seasons. From late September until early April, 50-60 students rise before dawn and begin a full day of zazen (seated meditation), study, and work, following a traditional Buddhist monastic schedule that dates back over thirteen hundred years to the early Tang Dynasty in China. When our Guest Season commences in May, the monastery opens its doors to the wider community. Our focus turns from the primarily inward activity of “practice period” to serving the wider community and sharing the experience of Zen practice and the joys of Tassajara. Since Zen Mountain Center’s inception, the Guest Season has been an integral part of the yearly cycle in these mountains.


There are a wide variety of ways to experience Zen practice at Tassajara, from the daily introduction to Zen meditation offered during guest season, to the fall and winter monastic practice periods. We warmly invite you to explore at whatever level you choose, and encourage you to ask any questions may have.
photo: Alison Bank



Practice Periods
An intense period of residential practice, including daily zazen, lectures, classes, work and close contact with teachers.

Summer Work Practice
Living and working within a community where Zen meditation is the foundational practice.

Apprenticeship Programs
Information on the summer Work Practice Apprenticeship Programs.

Guest Practice Program
An opportunity to practice Zen meditation and work alongside the Tassajara residential community.

Sangha Weeks
Time set aside at the beginning of the Tassajara guest season to welcome Dharma teachers and members of affiliated and other sanghas to practice together.

Study Weeks
Guests explore Zen teachings, meditation, and work practice under the guidance of an experienced teacher.

Work Periods
Volunteers and students work together to prepare for the Summer Guest Season or for the Fall Practice Period.