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.
There is a wide variety of ways to experience Zen practice at Tassajara, from the daily introduction to Zen meditation offered during guest season, to the fall and winter monastic practice periods. Newcomers are warmly invited to explore at whatever level they choose, and encouraged to ask any questions they may have.
Fees, schedule, and other information about Tassajara's two traditional 90-day practice periods (ango) every fall and winter.
These special week-long, publicly available Study Weeks are typically led by a former or sitting Abbot or Abbess, or a visiting venerable teacher.
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)