wisteria crest resident program roshi at altar

This program is for students who are seriously interested in pursuing Zen training and are willing to commit to at least one year to the practice of Zen under the guidance of Jakusho Kwong-roshi. To really benefit from the training, a second year is highly recommended. The resident student has an opportunity to live and practice Zen with inspiration and commitment to the path. Formal application and interview is required for acceptance. Resident students are required to participate fully in the daily zazen schedule, work practice, retreats, and all activities vital to the function of the Zen Center. A fee of $550/month covers room and board, meals, and participation in study group, retreats and sesshins. The first year, residents receive vacation during the last two weeks in December, when the Zen Center is closed. After one year, all residents receive an additional week of vacation.

Our daily schedule:

Monday through Friday

4:45 am wake up
5:15 am meditation
5:50 am slow walking
6:00 am meditation
6:35 am chanting
7:00 am cook own breakfast
8:45 am temple cleaning
9:05 am work practice
12:00 pm communal lunch
1:30 pm work practice
3:30 pm finish work
6:00 pm communal dinner
7:30 pm meditation
8:10 pm slow walking
8:20 pm meditation
9:00 pm sleep

Saturday Community

4:45 am wake up
5:15 am meditation
5:50 am slow walking
6:00 am meditation
6:30 am chanting
6:50 am oryoki breakfast
8:30 am work practice
10:00 am break
10:30 am meditation
11:00 am Dharma talk
12:00 pm lunch
1:00 pm free until
10:00 pm Sunday

Resident applicants should feel a spiritual rapport with Kwong-roshi, so that guidance can be received more openly. An interview with him is required when applying for residency. It is also important that the resident is serious about Zen oryoki practice and remains unwavering in this intention. Every other month there is a one day sitting on Saturday from 4:45 am to 5:00 pm. On alternating months, there is a three, five or seven-day sesshin (intensive meditation retreat). The schedule is purposely directed toward selfless Zen training. In February and August, there is a one month Ango practice period, which is structured with six periods of meditation each day.

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center's residency is small and intimate. Usually, there are around 10 residents. Our larger Sangha includes 120 members from nearby towns, the Bay Area, out-of-state who join us in a variety of ways. About 30 people attend our sesshins. Many guests from abroad also come for guest stays, from three days to three months. The opportunity to meet others interested in Zen practice is very rich and supportive.

Resident scholarships are available for serious students with particular skills and work experience. Students on scholarship work at SMZC full time and participate fully in the training program. It is recommended that the applicant has practiced Zen for at least one year. Students qualifying for scholarship receive room and board, meals and Zen training programs free of charge plus a small monthly stipend after six months.

If you are interested please contact the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center office to request a resident application form.

wisteria crest


Sonoma Mountain Zen Center
6367 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa CA 95404
(707) 545-8105