Spending time living and training at Yokoji could be one of the most rewarding periods of your life.
By immersing yourself in this time-honored training schedule, you will learn a great deal about yourself, your habits and your capabilities. It is a great way to learn how to make Zen practice an integral part of your life.
Training at Yokoji is year-round and follows the traditional pattern of quarterly intensive and interim periods. During the intensive, or training period, each individual focuses on collecting together their energy, to practice with vigor and determination. The schedule includes more periods of zazen (seated meditation), with an earlier wake up and a later finish to the day. We have a 7-day sesshin every month during the training period. During the interim period, the schedule is a little more relaxed, with zazen morning and night 4 days a week and then the usual Sunday schedule. We sit sesshin once a month during the interim, too, but only for 2 or 3 days at a time. The year round training is for everyone, residents and non-residents alike. Check out the fee schedule for residential stays.
Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center is the perfect place for residential training, both long and short term. The immediateness of the surrounding wilderness and the peacefulness of the valley in which we are located create a space which fosters sincere practice. Taking a period of time in your life, be it one week or one year, to live and train here at Yokoji, could be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have. This Zen Center operates in order to help people realize their true nature, and as a visiting Zen dignitary once remarked, "if you can't do it here (Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center), then you can't do it anywhere!"
One of the most important elements of Zen training is working closely with a teacher who has already gone through years of training of their own. The model of teacher and apprentice is apt to Zen training, as only through constant interaction with the teacher can the dharma be transmitted down through the generations. Zen training is more than gaining insight and realization, it is how to live one's life in accord with it, to develop a sense of compassion and wisdom that is in tune with the world at large. The role of the teacher is essential in showing the student where they are stuck and the work that they still need to do. Residential training, where the student has frequent contact with the teacher, is essential for those who want to really examine their lives and realize the Buddha Way.
Fee Schedule for Residency
Applying for Residency
If you are interested in applying for residential training, please visit the training application page. You can apply for any length of time, including open-ended stays. After the first 2 months of residency, you can apply for a scholarship. Scholarships are awarded to those who are diligent in their practice and show commitment and enthusiasm. Scholarships are more likely to be awarded to people who have already visibly developed, over time, an attitude of service toward the temple and the sangha. A scholarship can either reduce or eliminate the monthly residency fee. In order to apply for a scholarship, a commitment of 12 months stay at Yokoji must be made (this includes the first two paid months). Please download the code of conduct, which contains regulations and best practices for living in our community. The code of conduct must be read and signed before commencing residency at the Center.
Many people cannot take time in their busy lives to live at the Center. YZMC is open to all modes of practice, both monastic and lay. The Sunday schedule, sesshins and workshops can be attended by all. Our daily zazen (seated meditation) schedule is also open to everyone. Living at the Center is not necessary to be part of the sangha, or community. People who live nearby and come once or twice a week, or those who live elsewhere in the world and can only make it once or twice a year - all are welcome to come and train and to be a part of the sangha. Please don't feel that because you have family and work commitments you cannot train in Zen Buddhism here or anywhere else. Zen is nothing more than your life, and this is something universal that we all share. With the right effort, determination and faith we can all practice together, regardless of time and place.