Zen Mountain Monastery, the main house of the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism, is a monastic center providing traditional yet distinctly American Zen training to people of all ages and religious backgrounds. Recognized as one of the leading Zen Buddhist monasteries in the West, it makes available year-round training in Zen under the guidance of Zen master John Daido Loori, Roshi. With a resident community of female and male monastics and lay-trainees, Zen Mountain Monastery offers a wide variety of programs and retreats related to Buddhism for both beginning and advanced practitioners. Its 230 acres of nature preserve in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York afford an atmosphere conducive to self-study and introspection.
From its inception in 1980, the Monastery has maintained an ongoing daily schedule of zazen and monthly meditation intensives (sesshins). Daido Roshi has resisted the temptation to popularize and dilute traditional training and has chosen to preserve the rich trans-cultural religious heritage of Buddhism. Grounded within a rigorous monastic matrix, training at Zen Mountain Monastery emphasizes practice, realization and actualization of our true nature. The Monastery acknowledges and celebrates the distinctiveness and interplay of lay and monastic paths. In this bridging of the insights of traditional Zen and the challenges of modern life, the training at the Monastery provides a genuine and accessible way to transform the lives of those who engage it.
School items not of use to the monastery were The vitality of Zen relies upon the integration of spiritual practice and realized wisdom with everyday life. At Zen Mountain Monastery, students, residents and retreat participants engage in the Eight Gates of Zen, a singular training matrix whose core is the Buddha’s teachings on the Eightfold Path. Through zazen personal study with the teacher, liturgy, work practice, art practice, body practice, academic study, and Right Action (which includes the moral and ethical teachings of Buddhism), practitioners can discover many opportunities to realize and actualize the perennial wisdom of Zen in their lives.
Each year is organized into quarterly training periods that include spring and fall ninety-day intensives. Each month, a weeklong meditation intensive, called sesshin, is conducted at the Monastery. There are also weekend sesshins scheduled throughout the year. Introductory Zen Training Weekends are held monthly, offering a powerful way to find out about Zen and experience training first-hand. The Monastery’s weekly Sunday programs are open to the general public and include beginning instruction in meditation, periods of zazen, a Zen Buddhist service, a discourse and an informal lunch. On the average, forty special retreats are offered each year on topics related to Zen practice and presented in the unique context of Zen monastic training. Among the faculty that have taught at the Monastery are Kazuaki Tanahashi, Robert Thurman, Anne Waldman, Pema Chodron, Joan Chittister and many other venerable teachers, East and West. These programs are intended for those interested in embracing Zen practice, as well as anyone ready to deeply study their life.
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