Residential Life at DBZ

Living at Dai Bosatsu Zendo is a rare opportunity in today's hectic, multi-tasking, fragmented culture. Located on 1,400 pristine wooded acres on the banks of the highest lake in the Catskill Mountains, the monastery welcomes serious students of the Way to work together as bodhisattvas-in-training.

Residents engage in daily zazen and sutra chanting, learn traditional Rinzai Zen forms, and work at tasks ranging from cleaning and cooking to all manner of outdoor projects such as maintaining trails, chopping and stacking wood, and taking care of the land and facilities. Yoga, breath work, and other body practices are a part of the daily schedule, as are personal and group study periods.

Residents include both ordained and lay students, and their practice is guided by Shinge Roshi. Students may apply for formal kessei, three-month training periods in the spring and fall, as well as for less formal interim periods in the winter and summer, when work-exchange arrangements are possible.

Sesshin, a silent week of intensive practice with dokusan (private meetings with the roshi), is offered three times a day, is held once a month during kessei, and intermittently during interims.

Students whose aspiration, sincerity, and dedication are strong are encouraged to remain at Dai Bosatsu Zendo throughout the year for as long as their life circumstances permit. Those with a deep vow may apply for ordination, which requires unwavering immersion in the intensive 1,000-day training of Rinzai Zen.

The DBZ community upholds high standards of personal and group conduct, rooted in the Six Paramitas (virtues of perfection) of the Buddhist teachings: dana (generosity), sila (living by the Ten Precepts), kshanti (patience and endurance), virya (assiduous, energetic practice), dhyana (zazen), and prajna (wisdom).

Whether engaging in short-term lay practice or making a life-time commitment, residents at DBZ work together cheerfully and with mutual respect, support, and encouragement, providing a place for all who come to experience the Buddha-Dharma in an authentic and life-changing way.

The fee for a full three-month kessei is $2,000. For those who cannot come for the entire kessei period, a one-month ($750) or two-month period ($1,500) can be arranged. For more on what to expect from kessei and the daily schedule, see PDF. Please see our calendar for the next kessei period.

To apply for residence, contact

Interim Residency Program

Dai Bosatsu Zendo opens its doors during winter and summer interim for serious beginners and seasoned Zen students alike. If you are interested in experiencing monastic practice for a minimum of two weeks, you may qualify for interim residency. Your sincere motivation to deepen your practice and your willingness to follow our monastic schedule and give of yourself while working, sitting and living with fellow residents are the most important requirements. For summer and winter interim dates, see calendar and to see more on what to expect from summer/winter interim residency, see see PDF.

To apply or for more information: email, call, or write to the office.

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