Tassajara

Carmel Valley
United States

The Tassajara Zen Center is a monastery and retreat center. It is one of the three practice centres that make up the San Fransisco Zen Center. The center is ocated in the Ventana Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest, southeast of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Sōtō Zen monastery in the United States. It is not easily accessible and only open to visitors during the summer. The rest of the year students practice for 90 day periods.

Tradition & Practice
Buddhism
Kind of Place
Monastery
Center

the Path

The path of this Place is Soto Zen. Learn more about Soto Zen by clicking on the field to the right.

the Practice

There are several programs that enable interested students to live and work at Tassajara. There are two ninety-day practice periods (one in Winter and one in Fall) that follow the traditional Soto Zen monastic schedule and allow experienced practitioners to join with the Tassajara community in intensive practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (Zenshinji–Zen Heart-Mind Temple). 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 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.

the Organization

This place belongs to the San Francisco Zen Center. Learn more about the organization and its other places by clicking on the field to the right.

the Place

The 126-acre mountain property surrounding the Tassajara Hot Springs was purchased by the San Francisco Zen Center in 1967 from Robert and Anna Beck. When it was purchased it was the first Zen monastery outside Asia. The name is a corruption of Tasajera, a Spanish-American word derived from an indigenous Esselen word, which means ‘place where meat is hung to dry. The Center is very isolated, more than 16 miles (26 km) from the nearest paved road, and only accessible via a narrow, steep, one-lane dirt road. During the winter months, practitioners live alone on site. During the summer months (tourist season), the Center is opened to day and overnight guests. The hot springs on the property have been developed into Japanese-style baths.

the Lineage and History

Details

sfzc.orgccoffice@sfzc.org+1 831-659-2229
39171 Tassajara Rd
Carmel Valley
CA 93924
United States
Please ask the Place for the exact address.

proudly written by

Alex Benacquista

Alexandra Benacquistais a yoga teacher and writer focusing on philosophy and religious studies. Though he currently call Victoria home, Derek grew up in the Toronto Area and also spent some time living in a religious commune in Switzerland. Alexandra is fascinated by peoples' diverse and idiosyncratic relationships with the transcendent, and is always eager to explore the sacred practices and places that serve as bridges to fullness.

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Alex Benacquista

Similar Places

Tassajara

Carmel Valley
,  
United States

The Tassajara Zen Center is a monastery and retreat center. It is one of the three practice centres that make up the San Fransisco Zen Center. The center is ocated in the Ventana Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest, southeast of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Sōtō Zen monastery in the United States. It is not easily accessible and only open to visitors during the summer. The rest of the year students practice for 90 day periods.

Tradition & Practice
Buddhism
Soto Zen
Kind of Place
Monastery
Center