The 111th Practice Period at Tassajara
Led by Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller
January 10 – April 4, 2024
Application due date is December 9*
The Practice of Awakening
Awakening, in the context of a Zen ango (practice period), is a combination of the yogic practices outlined in the teachings of the seven factors of awakening, and upholding the elements of the traditional Soto Zen monastic schedule. Discovering and actualizing this combination of practices will be the theme of this ango. This ninety-day practice period is a rare opportunity for experienced practitioners to participate in the intimate practice at Zen Mountain Center (Zenshinji). During this ango, it is also possible to concentrate on work practice in the kitchen or participate for the first month only. Information for all three options is detailed below.
The rigorous schedule of the practice period and the secluded atmosphere of Tassajara facilitate going beyond the usual entanglements of self and opening to the ease and joy of the Buddha Way. Practicing like this we embody the Bodhisattva vow and discover the joy of bringing kindness and love to the suffering of our world.
Kitchen Practice Period Opportunity
Tassajara is offering a practice period this Winter to those who are interested and eligible to join the practice period kitchen crew. This is an opportunity to support Tassajara’s monastic practice at no charge and without using earned practice period credits. Come nourish yourself and the sangha while deepening your practice through daily zazen, dharma offerings, and harmonizing with the Zen kitchen and crew.
- Tassajara requests a commitment to the full three months of the practice period.
- Please complete and submit the practice period application by December 9 (there is an option to choose "Kitchen Practice Period" on the first page of the application). Applying as soon as possible will help Tassajara with planning.
First Month Option; January 11 – February 10
This Tassajara practice period will offer an opportunity for practitioners to attend the first month only. There are many sangha members who would appreciate the opportunity to participate in the forms of a traditional ango but aren't able to take three months away from their lives or work. For the first month there will be an emphasis on training in the Zen monastic forms and to illustrate the role they play in the practice of awakening.
- The prerequisite for participating in the first month of the practice period will be to have sat at least one traditional seven-day sesshin.
Participants for the first month will sit two days of tangaryo. Please review the information and documents below the prerequisites section on this page and fill out the application, which includes an option for this one-month participation.
The following prerequisites for the Winter 2024 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. An exception may be made for those with comparable practice experience elsewhere; the applicant is asked to submit a letter of recommendation from their teacher.
- Commitment to complete the full three months
- Submitting a completed application before the deadline (December 9*)
- 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
*Applying as soon as possible helps Tassajara with the logistics of planning for the practice period; priority of acceptance will be given to those who apply early.
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 carefully review the 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:
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 practice period credit (which includes room, board, and tuition) may be earned by participating in the Work Practice Apprenticeship Program during the summer before the practice period.
Fees for one-month participation*: $1,200 US (plus $30 application fee), which covers room, board and tuition. Payment in full is required BEFORE arrival at Tassajara.
*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. For the one-month option, similar considerations apply.
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.