March 2020 Intensive: Zen and Work (residential option), CC 3/3 – 3/28

Practice Center
Date / Time
Mar 3, 2020 / 6:00am - Mar 28, 2020 / 6:00pm
Event Type
Practice Periods

Residential Participation

Residential intensive join the full intensive schedule, or a limited schedule that includes everything except the daily work practice. Residential participants should plan to arrive by the early afternoon of Monday, March 2.

Note: We will accept new residential participants in the intensive based on available housing. If you want to practice as a resident, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as residential space is limited.

Zen and Work: How Zen orientation to work can support clarity, purpose, and happiness in our daily activities

Led by Marc Lesser and Zesho Susan O'Connell
March 3 – March 28

Application deadline is February 4

Over 750 years ago Zen Master Eihei Dogen wrote about the importance of being awake and aware in our work. This three-week intensive will focus on his teachings, and how a life that integrates Zen practice and work practice helps to create clarity and joy in our daily activities.

As one of the developers of Search inside Yourself, a mindfulness program he helped create inside of Google, and the former CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, Marc has been a leader in teaching “mindful work”. He is a Senior Zen Teacher and the author of four books including Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons From Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen.  Work practice as Zen practice has been one of Marc's passions for the past 25 years.

Susan O’Connell was an actor and a film producer and entrepreneur for 25 years before moving to SFZC.  Since that time she has held many leadership positions at Zen Center, and deeply believes that Zen practice is meant to be continuous, and that “work practice” is perhaps one of the strongest teachers.

Participants can engage in the intensive in one of three ways:

About the March 2020 Intensive – Zen and Work
This is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism. Participants can engage in this training period in one of three ways: as a resident, as a commuter, and online.

This training period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include classes, ceremonies, dharma talks, and Tuesday afternoon teas with the leaders of the intensive. During the three weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the leaders and/or other practice leaders.

Susan and Marc will also teach a class on the intensive theme, Zen and Work: How a Zen orientation to work can support clarity, purpose, and happiness in our daily activities. It will meet three Thursday evenings, March 5, 12, 19, 7:30 – 9 pm.

Teas are on Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, March 10 and 17. The intensive concludes with a three-day sesshin, beginning the evening of Wednesday, March 25 and ending on Saturday, March 28.

Three ways to participate in the Intensive

Residential Options

  • Work Practice Apprentice (WPA): For those who want to live and work full-time in the temple.
  • Limited Resident: For those who want to live in the temple but will not participate in the daily work schedule.

Commuter Option: For those who live off-site but can attend all or part of the practice schedule on-site.

Online Option: For those whose schedule or location doesn’t allow for regular on-site attendance of temple events.

Fee Information

Residential Fees

Full: Includes full-time work practice at City Center

  • $864 shared room
  • $1,080 private room, if available

Limited: Not working at City Center

  • $1,242 shared room
  • $1,431 private room, if available
Registration Information

Residential Applications:

  • Download the Residential Application [Word]/[PDF]. You may also email the office ( to request one, or call 415.863.3136.
  • To process residential applications, a non-refundable fee of $15 is required. Use the Register Online button under “Payment,” below, or include payment with your application, or call our toll-free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362).
  • Please also review the Pure Standards for Residential Zen Training.

Deadline for residential applications: February 4


Register Online to pay your non-refundable residential application fee of $15. Or call our toll-free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362).

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