How to Participate

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.

Daily practice revolves around teachings in Zen Buddhist practices — zazen (sitting meditation), chanting, walking and working. It is a rigorous lifestyle. Monks, 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.


For people seeking a longer-term stay with the Center (residential practice), a student application form is available here. Please print and complete the application and mail it to Bodhi Manda Zen Center. The application can also be scanned and sent to A printed copy of the student application can also be mailed to you upon request.

Weekly Introduction

On Saturday mornings from 10:30am–12:30pm, the Center holds an introductory program to Zen meditation. The program 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 contact us to let us know you’ll be coming.


A zazenkai (座禅会), literally meaning “to come together for meditation,” is a Zen Buddhist retreat that is usually less intensive and of shorter duration than sesshin (7-day silent retreat).

The Center holds this program once a month on the weekend, all year around. The retreat starts at 6pm on a Friday and continues until lunch on Sunday at noon. Suggested donation is $100 ($80 for members). Meals and accommodation are included.

See our calendar for a schedule. You can view a sample schedule for Zazenkai weekend here. Please contact us for more information and to reserve a space.


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 residential 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”) that focuses 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.

Full Moon Meditation

Come join us in the Center’s Zen garden to meditate beneath the rise of the full moon. The practice begins at 7pm and includes dinner and the use of the hot springs. Suggested donation of $10 is gratefully accepted. See our calendar for monthly schedule. Please contact the Zen Center for reservations.