Guest Student Stays at Green Gulch

Working the landAt this time, the Green Gulch Guest Student Program is open.

Before applying, please review Green Gulch Farm's current Health and Safety Requirements.

Our Guest Student Program offers short-term residency to those interested in beginning or continuing Zen practice with the support of a community. Guest students participate in the daily life of Green Gulch, which includes several periods of zazen (sitting meditation), services (sutra chanting and bowing), morning and afternoon work (frequently of a physical nature), informal study and meals. We also offer zazen instruction, classes and lectures on Buddhism, and the opportunity for discussions and meetings with teachers and practice leaders.

The cost is $35 per day with a 14-day (two-week) minimum. A $70 non-refundable deposit is due once you have received confirmation of your guest student stay. Guest student stays beyond 14 days (if approved) are without additional charge.

SFZC has a designated fund to support BIPOC practitioners with guest student stay fees. Please indicate to the Guest Student Manager if this applies to you.

For more information please write the Guest Student Manager at

To Apply

Please complete the online application. Please review the Green Gulch Residential Guidelines (Shingi) as well.

San Francisco Zen Center welcomes international visitors in the US on B visas to participate in our various offerings, workshops, and retreats. We also welcome students to participate in our Apprenticeship Program. Because the Apprenticeship Program is vocational, we are able to offer M-1 visas to students across the world. For more details about visas, click here.

Green Gulch Farm student farmersPlanning Your Stay

The guest student program begins late Wednesday afternoon with orientation before dinner. A two-week stay (Wednesday to Wednesday) is requested. Longer stays may be scheduled on a week-to-week basis; for longer term stays please see also our Apprenticeship Programs.

Booking is done in order of applications received.

In the spirit of maintaining the Buddhist precepts, guest students are asked to refrain from drug or alcohol use and from initiating new sexual relationships during their guest student stay. We also discourage the use of tobacco while in residence.

Please discuss any concerns you may have with the Guest Student Manager before entering the program.

Suggested reading: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.

Green Gulch zendo


The Guest Student Program includes complete participation in the schedule. It is requested that any exceptions be communicated to the Guest Student Manager.

Typical Schedule*

4:45 wake-up bell
5:20 am Zazen (sitting meditation)
6:20 Service
6:50 Soji (temple cleaning)
7:10 Breakfast (silent)
8:00 Class/Study Hall
8:40 End Class/Study Hall
8:45 Work Meeting or Work Crew bow-in
12:15 End of work
12:30 Lunch

1:15 Work
3:30 End of Work
6:00 Dinner
7:40 Service
7:50 Zazen (sitting meditation)
8:30 End of Day

Same as weekdays, until
11:30 Guest Student Tea

Sunday Morning Schedule
Same as weekdays, until
10:00 Public lecture: Hearing assistance available; see the GGF Calendar for upcoming talks and our Dharma talk archive.
11:00 Discussion with lecturer

*Though the meditation hall (zendo) is usually open daily for meditation, the schedule varies at times.

No zendo schedule on Tuesdays.

During Practice Periods there are additional scheduled periods of zazen in the evenings.