The activities at Bodhi Manda Zen Center are based upon a beautiful monastic system that has evolved over centuries in Japan and China. Most everyone who trains in this system is moved by its intricacy, formality and rigor, all of which support practitioners in their study of Zen Buddhism.
There are several types of Zen activities offered to visitors and students. Below is a brief description of each. Details on particular events will be posted as they become available. For more information including the schedule of upcoming events or to make a reservation, please call, e-mail or write.
A student application form is available here in .pdf format. If you are interested in being a student, please download the form, print and complete the application and mail it to Bodhi Manda Zen Center. A printed copy of the student application can also be mailed to you upon request.
The typical cost for a working student residency is $300 a month, $100 a week or $20 a day. As a new student, there is a requirement to stay a minimum of three days. Call for further information.
Seikan: General Daily Practice (Winter/Summer)
Between the months of December and March, and at various points throughout the summer, the Center is open to visitors who rent a room in the guesthouse. As a guest, you will receive access to our natural hot springs, and while there is no obligation to participate in any of the Zen Center’s activities, guests are welcome and encouraged to join in practice.
Daily practice revolves around meditation– sitting, walking and working. It is a rigorous lifestyle. Monks and Nuns, staff and students rise early and engage themselves fully in these activities throughout the day. The daily life is meant to be calm yet engaged. Everyone practices together harmoniously as a group, yet everyone is recognized as a distinct individual. A typical daily schedule is as follows:
- 4:45 am Kaijo (rise)
- 5:00 am Choka sarei (tea)
- Choka (chanting)
- Zazen (Zen meditation)
- 7:15 am Breakfast* (semi-formal)
- 7:45 am Nitten Soji (clean-up)
- 8- 9:30 am Personal Time
- 9:30-12:30 pm Samu (work practice)
- 12:30 pm Lunch (Informal)
- 1:15- 3:45 pm Reading time (sutras)
- 3:45 pm Banka (chanting)
- 5:00 pm Dinner* (semi-formal)
- 6:45- 8:30 pm Zazen
- 9:00 pm Kaichin (Zendo closure)
*Meal held in silence
On most Sunday mornings the Center holds a Visitor’s Day program from 9:00 am to noon. The morning includes several periods of zazen (sitting meditation), a Dharma talk, and lunch with the Bodhi staff. Sitting instruction is available for newcomers. There is no fee, though donations are always welcome. Please call ahead to let us know you’ll be coming.
Zazenkai: Weekend Retreat
Once a month, weekend zazen meditation retreats are held starting 6:00 pm on a Friday and continuing until lunch on Sunday at noon. Suggested donation is $100 ($80 for members). Please call ahead for more information and to reserve a space.
Introduction to Zen Buddhist Practice (Spring/Fall)
This retreat is a special time for putting aside the concerns of the everyday world to enter pure Zen Buddhist practices. The daily activities during these retreats are designed for deep contemplation and manifestation, especially weeklong sesshins.
A retreat period is a two-month program given at Bodhi Manda twice a year, during the spring (April – May) and fall (mid October – early December). Bodhi Manda also offers an abbreviated one-month winter program (“Winterim”) focusing on Zen Buddhist practices.
A typical schedule introduces participants to early rising, 6 hours of zazen (sitting meditation) per day, as well as chanting, samu (work practice), and silent formal meals. Sesshins include around 12 hours of zazen per day.
For student prices or other information please contact the Center. Please note that in order to reserve a space for any Sesshin or retreat period, a non-refundable deposit will be required. In cases of limited seating, priority will be given to full-time students.
Hoshiki Bombai: Ceremonies
Hoshiki: “Dharma Ceremony”; Bom: “Chanting”; Bai: “Beating [the drum]”
Equality is manifested through Buddhist ceremonies as both lay and ordained persons come together and manifest Perfect Buddha Nature. Bodhi Manda holds various ceremonies throughout the year (listed below) which are open to the public and are followed by an informal lunch. Donations are welcome. Please call for more information.
January 1: New Year’s Day Ceremony
January 10: Rinzai-ki (Rinzai’s Deathday)
February 15: Nirvana Day (Buddha’s Deathday)
April 8: Hanamatsuri (Buddha’s Birthday)
October 5: Daruma-ki (Bodhidharma’s Deathday)