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 Guest Season commences in May, the monastery opens its doors to the wider community. The 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.
Fees, schedule, and other information about Tassajara's two traditional 90-day practice periods (ango) every fall and winter.
There are several programs that enable interested students to live and work at Tassajara.
Resident teachers and practice leaders who teach classes, lecture, and are available for private interviews (practice discussion)
The following videos, recorded at Tassajara in 2013, present an interview with Zen Center's former central abbot, the late Myogen Steve Stücky, who passed away December 31, 2013.
Part 1 (9:19) presents some very general background on Tassajara, as well as on Zen and meditation.
Part 2 (13:29) gives more detail about daily life at Tassajara and a brief history of Zen.
Special thanks to Ryan Gray, a retreat participant and videographer, for making these videos available.