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You are invited to join us on Sonoma Mountain among the redwoods, frogs croaking, crickets chirping, owls hooting across the meadow, crisp clean air, and a vast starlit sky. Membership provides a chance to personally experience this ancient tradition under the experienced guidance of Jakusho Kwong-roshi and interact with others committed to living an authentic spiritual life in an otherwise frequently chaotic world. This is a practice that allows us to see beyond our usually one-sided perception of ourselves and the world, so that we can participate in society with clarity and peace.


Since 1973, Sonoma Mountain Zen Center has offered Zen meditation practice and its basic teachings in the Soto Zen tradition to people of all religious faiths. SMZC is a lay residential training practice center. We rely on membership dues, income from our programs, and contributions to support and maintain the Dharma on this ancient mountain.


To join us, please read through the information below and fill out the membership application form. We offer a variety of membership options tailored to your practice commitment and financial ability. Please return the completed form along with your initial payment of dues to the SMZC office. This application provides us with basic information about you, your background, and your membership interests and serves as an introduction to our teacher, Jakusho Kwong-roshi, to help him guide and assist you in your practice.


Finally, we ask that you complete the volunteer portion of the application form, listing your skills and abilities and identifying how you may be of ongoing service to our temple and sangha. Please complete all paperwork and initial member dues payment online billed from the office. We look forward to practicing with you.


In deep gassho



SMZC offers three membership levels: Supporting, Practicing, and Sustaining. Every level of membership enjoys the following benefits. Members also receive discounts on programs and overnight stays consistent with membership level. Members are entitled to free overnight stays on Friday evenings for Saturday Community practice. Accommodations for sesshins and ango listed below are for shared sleeping arrangements in the yurts or godo. Prices for overnight stays in the Genjo and Ando buildings are available on request for additional fees.  

  • Quarterly practice interview (dokusan) with teachers (Roshi & Nyoze Kwong)

  • One-time virtual meeting to discuss setting up home practice space and altar

  • Free Friday overnight stay in basic shared accommodations to attend the Saturday Community (Bring your sleeping bag & towels!)

  • Free quarterly Mountain Wind Newsletter (in PDF) via email 

  • Discounted overnight room rates for guest stays, sesshins, and ango (see table below) 

  • Invitations to members-only gatherings 

Memberships auto-renew and valid until cancelled.



This membership level is for those who are able to provide a higher level of ongoing support for SMZC. The membership dues below are suggested minimum levels. Sustaining Members are encouraged to establish a monthly or annual level of dana consistent with their financial ability.

Entitled to benefits listed above plus: ​

  • 15% off at the Zen Dust store

  • 20% discount on enrollment fees for online and in-person events, sesshins, and study groups

$63+ monthly or $756+ annually (recurs until cancelled)



This membership level is appropriate for members who are regularly engaged in practice programs at SMZC, including sesshins, workshops, and study groups.

​Entitled to benefits listed above plus: 

  • 10% discount at Zen Dust store.  

  • 15% discount on enrollment fees for online and in-person events, sesshins, and study groups 

$42 monthly or $504 annually (recurs until cancelled)



This membership level is appropriate for first-time membership, newer participants, and those joining SMZC through online.

​Entitled to benefits listed above plus: 

  •  5% discount at Zen Dust store  

  • 10% discount on enrollment fees for online and in-person events, sesshins, and study groups

$21 monthly or $252 annually (recurs until cancelled)

Membership Categories & Program Rates

Membership Categories

Guest Practice Stay/Solo Retreat

not all meals are prepared


all meals are prepared

Saturday Community


$68/night & up

$68/night & up



$72.25/night & up


$72.25/night & up


$76.50/night & up

$76.50/night & up



$85/night & up

$85/night & up


Our center offers Zen practice for individuals to deepen their inner truth and bring clarity to their role in society. Traditional temples relied on the support a whole community to carry out their dharma. Your selfless service, financial support, and presence at the center as a member are deeply appreciated as offerings to the Zen Center and its cause. We encourage you to consider a membership to help us to uphold the Sangha and our sacred grounds for generations to come.

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