Residential Practice at Green Gulch

Green Gulch residential program morning work circle

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center offers a unique opportunity for Buddhist practice. It is a place to learn about Buddhism, not only through meditation and study, but also by through working and living together in ordinary situations. This emphasis on activity, on everyday life, is traditional in Zen Practice. At Green Gulch, beginning students as well as priests and lay people with many years of experience in Zen Practice, live and work together, "negotiating the Way."

The residential community consists of about 55 people including full-time staff members, short-term residents, and children. The schedule throughout the year includes zazen (meditation), sutra chanting, lectures, discussions, work and individual instruction with Green Gulch priests and lay leaders.

More about Zen Meditation and Practice at Green Gulch

Guest Students

Green Gulch has a variety of ways to be in residence.

Guest Students reside in student housing and participate in the full meditation and work schedule and attend classes, lectures, and ceremonies. This program offers short-term residency to those interested in beginning or deepening Zen practice with the support of a community. There is a seven-day minimum. Cost, schedule, program description and an application are on our Guest Student page.

Practice Periods

Practice Period is an opportunity to live in the community and intensify one's practice over an eight week period, through increased meditation and study and contact with Zen Center teachers. These are times of intensive formal Zen training emphasizing zazen, ceremonies, study and daily work. Practice Period students commit to be in residence for the entire term. Space permitting, Green Gulch may also accept short-term participants.

Green Gulch offers two 8-week Practice Periods each year. They begin in October and February, and end with a 7 day sesshin. A 3 1/2 week "Intensive" which includes a 5 day sesshin is held in January.

Work Practice Apprentices 

Apprentices participate fully in the daily life of the residential community. Work apprentices reside in student housing and are asked to remain at Green Gulch during the first month of residency. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for Practice Period scholarships. A two-week stay as a guest student is prerequisite for applying for this program. For more information and an application see the Work Practice Apprenticeship Programs at Green Gulch.

The Farm and Garden Apprenticeship is a six-month apprenticeship in Zen practice and organic farming and gardening. The apprentices join the meditation and class schedule and focus on farm and garden work and study. Apprentices earn two practice periods. The program runs from mid-April to mid-October. A two-week stay as a guest student is a prerequisite for applying for the program. For more information and an application call 415.354.0420 or email farm apprenticeship.