Winter 2023 Practice Period at Tassajara

Practice Center
Date / Time
Jan 6, 2023 / 12:00pm - Apr 4, 2023 / 3:00pm
Event Type
Practice Periods
Description

The 109th Practice Period at Tassajara

Led by Senior Dharma Teacher Eijun Linda Cutts

January 6 – April 4, 2023

Applications are due by November 21, 2022

Buddha Bows to Buddha, and You Bow to Yourself

In your practice you should accept everything as it is, giving to each thing the same respect given to a Buddha. Here there is Buddhahood. Then Buddha bows to Buddha, and you bow to yourself. This is the true bow. —Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

In the Winter-Spring Practice Period at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, beginning in the dark of the winter months and opening into the flowering and reawakening of the spring mountain, we will study the fascicle “Receiving the Marrow by Bowing / Raihai Tokuzui” from Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.

This fascicle was chosen by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi as the focus of his thesis at Komazawa University, and explores the non-dual practice of bowing, the importance of the relationship to a teacher, the equality of all beings in the practice of the way, and more. Dogen also brings, with great energy, the Zen stories of some of our women ancestors to illustrate his teachings.

During the practice period, devoted to zazen, we will also take up the traditional practices of reading, reciting, and writing the teachings, as well as having a chance to "plunge into" the nondual practice of bowing. As a traditional Soto Zen verse says:

The one who is bowing, the one who is bowed to
Their nature, no nature
My body, other’s body, not two
Plunging into the inexhaustible vow
Living in harmony with all.


Tassajara’s ninety-day practice period follows the traditional Soto Zen monastic schedule. The practice period is a rare opportunity for experienced practitioners to participate in the intensive practice at Zen Mountain Center (Zenshinji).

The following prerequisites for the Winter 2023 practice period at Tassajara must be fulfilled in total for your application to be considered:

  • Completion of at least one two-month residential practice period at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center or Green Gulch Farm
  • Commitment to complete the full three months
  • Submitting a completed application before the deadline
  • Tuition paid in full before the start of the practice period or use of a practice period credit earned before arrival and approved by the applications committee

In order to participate in the practice period, students must be fully vaccinated. In addition, testing and masking protocols will likely take place during the first few days of the practice period. Please see Tassajara Health & Safety Protocols.

SEASONAL WEATHER CONCERNS

Based on our past experience, we expect that the seasonal rains will bring additional challenges to the monastery. These challenges include potential flooding as well as debris flow, slides, and erosion risks along the Tassajara road and throughout the valley. Due to these potential hazards, Tassajara practice period participants have been requested to sign a Waiver of Liability which is included as a part of the online application form.

Important Practice Period Documents:

Fee Information

Practice Period Fees*: $3,600 US (plus $30 application fee), which covers room, board and tuition. Payment in full is required BEFORE arrival at Tassajara unless another arrangement is made in advance with the director. A scholarship (which includes room, board, and tuition) may be earned by participating in the Work Practice Apprenticeship Program during the summer before the practice period.

*As the basic operating expenses for the practice period are in excess of $4,500 per student, please consider donating more if you are able.

The $30 application fee is required for applicants who are not currently in residence at SFZC and must be paid at the same time the application is submitted. All applications and fees must be submitted electronically.