Live and practice with Zen Center residents for a limited stay of up to three months, and enjoy the quiet and natural rural atmosphere of Sonoma Mountain. The daily schedule includes: morning and evening zazen (meditation) and services (bowing and chanting), samu (temple work practice), informal communal meals, and private interviews with SMZC’s Abbot Jakusho Kwong-roshi. Afternoon rest breaks and private time (2.5hrs) are free for studying, hiking, walks or attending to personal things.
Accomodations are in simple rustic cabins, solo or shared, and three vegetarian meals daily are provided. Upon arrival, SMZC’s guest person will review practice schedule and detailed information about the center. General review of meditation instructions and zendo etiquette may be requested at the beginning of a guest stay.
Staying at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center is an adventure, to be engaged in wholehearted practice in the midst of profound stillness.
$65 per day or discounted monthly rate
Immersing oneself in a solo retreat is a wonderful opportunity to practice in relative solitude in a private cabin, doing prostrations, meditating, chanting or offering prayers. This opportunity is open to everyone in the Zen and other contemplative traditions. It is recommended that your retreat be confirmed and guided by your current teacher. Participants have flexibility to create their practice schedule and are welcome to join in any of the Zen Center's scheduled daily practice activities. Meals may be taken alone or communally. Come surround yourself with the beauty of majestic redwoods and regal oaks on Sonoma Mountain and embrace the stillness found within through Zen practice.
$120 per day or discounted monthly rate
It is wonderful to begin the New Year by joining us in our One Day Sitting. The schedule is moderate for beginners as well as seasoned sitters. A traditional Soto Zen meditation practice with 8 periods of zazen, prostrations, chanting, formal oryoki meals in the zendo, and mindful work practice. All this within a renovated old barn, now a zendo with redwood walls, high ceilings, and polished wooden floors. A day of profound silence surrounded by tall redwood trees, oak and madrone, and vivid green ferns. Delicious organic food fresh from our garden. The One Day is from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. It includes Friday 6 pm dinner and overnight stay. Come and renew your spirit!
Saturday 4:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
January 4 March 14 May 2
$85 per day
A multi-day retreat for experienced sitters. Manifest zazen mind in an intensive schedule that includes prostrations, ten daily periods of meditation, chanting, mindful work practice, Dharma talks, and private interviews with Kwong-roshi. Mornings begin at 4:45 a.m. and evenings end at 9:00 p.m.
February 9-16 Seven Day Sesshin
April 1-5 Three Day Sesshin
June 11- 14 Three Day Sesshin
August 11-18 Seven Day Sesshin
October 15-18 Three Day Sesshin
December 2-7 Five Day Sesshin
$85 per day
Ango-Practice Period, a twenty-seven day retreat, is held during the summer and winter months. Ango, literally means “Peaceful Dwelling” as its schedule of 6 periods of meditation enhances the spirit of mindfulness day after day. Meditation periods are spreadout throughout the day with the practice of chanting, prostrations, work practice, formal meals with monks’bowls, and studying. A seven-day sesshin takes place on the third week. After every meal, the Shuso, who is leader of Ango, gives a brief commentary from his theme, or from insights about Zen practice. This encourages practitioners to be more diligent and to deepen their practice and understanding. They gradually know how to focus and sustain wholehearted presence in everything that they do. Participants may join the Ango for three days, a week, or more according to their circumstance. Shared accommodations in cabins, tents and yurt. Daily zazen is open to the public.
January 28- February 23
July 29- August 24
$85 per day (monthly rates available)
A unique opportunity for Kyudo training within the container of Zen Practice. Students balance body, mind, and spirit in the contemplative martial art of archery, a physical form that subtly mirrors the inner state. Training for beginners as well as intermediate students. In addition to kyudo, the retreat includes morning and evening zazen and periods of work practice alongside residents of the center in their daily practice.