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Japanese Bathhouse Paul Discoe
For the Beneficial Awakening of All Beings

At Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, we emphasize the practice of just sitting, the ancient tradition of Zazen, a seated meditation to deepen our original nature and extend clarity to everyday life.

Kwong Roshi ca. 1976
Sonoma Mountain Zendo Early Days

Jakusho Kwong-roshi founded Sonoma Mountain Zen Center in 1973 to continue the lineage of his teacher Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  Kwong-roshi, his wife Shinko Kwong, their family, and a small community of students converted an old barn on Sonoma Mountain into Genjo-ji Temple (Manifesting Everyday Activity). Kwong-roshi has served as abbot for over forty years and founded affiliate centers in Poland and Iceland and sitting groups across the United States.

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center is an intimate community with a small residential program and a larger membership that joins in practice. We engage in an authentic Zen tradition through daily practice, retreats, group retreats, special events, and solo hermitages.


The center is located high on Sonoma Mountain, on eighty acres of secluded oak woodland and redwood forest overlooking the Valley of the Moon. The center's handcrafted buildings are constructed from recycled materials taken from old barns in the area.  SMZC is in the heart of Northern California wine country, an hour and a half drive north of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Evening Zazen Time Drum (koten) - Unknown Artist
A New Bonsho for SMZC for Japan!
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