Living the Monastic Life

The Monastic Sangha in India preserved and transmitted the Teachings of the Historical Buddha. In Chinese East Asia, the Sangha taught that Buddha Awakening was possible for each person. In the Contemporary West, the Sangha is becoming a societally integrated, Lay and Monastic Practice. What forms Contemporary Zen Buddhism will take and how its teachings and practices will evolve is part of the work and experience at Crestone Mountain Zen Center. Come and join us in this experiment!

If you are interested in becoming a resident

Your schedule for a typical day:

4:30 Wake-up
5:00 Zazen  
6:30 Sutra Recitation
7:00 Individual Study Period
8:00 Oryoki Breakfast (three bowl meal)
9:00 Work Meeting & Work
12:30 Buffet-Lunch
2:30 Work Meeting & Work
5:00 Break
8-9:00 Zazen
10:00 Lights out

As a resident, you are expected to fully participate in the daily schedule.

Conditions of your Residency:

The minimum stay for residency is one year. If you are interested in a shorter stay, please inquire about student or volunteer programs.

You will be housed in a single room. During the summer guest season, it may be necessary for you to live in one of our resident tents for up to eight weeks.

You will receive room and board in exchange for your participation in sustaining the daily life at the Center. After having lived with us for at least six months, a small stipend can be considered.

Application process:

If you are interested in our residency program, of course, we have to get to know each other first. It is a big decision! And therefore, we are going to ask for several steps in the application process:

1. Please contact our office. Laurie, our Guest Manager, will send you an application form.
2. After reviewing your application, we will invite you to a zoom call.
3. If there is a good mutual feeling, we ask that you visit us for an in-person retreat.
4. After you have lived with us for at least three weeks, we will together consider your residency.

In the West, we are just beginning the process of dharmafication. The process itself is Buddhist practice. And the evolving Western Sangha is transforming the Western concept of the world, the experience of time and space, and the study of consciousness, mind, and cognition. The word for Sangha in Japanese is rin Rin means forest. It takes a forest to show a tree how to be a forest-tree. This is Sangha-life.
Currently, Buddhism is finding its place in the West through its resonance with science, its accordance with Western psychology, its emergence within the arts, and through its presence as a teaching and practice of Wisdom and Compassion.  These societal and cultural dynamics are evolving a new world teaching for today’s evolving world. We hope you will join us in this evolution!

Zen Residency Training Overview:

You will have the opportunity to discuss your practice with our Head Teacher, Zentatsu Baker Roshi. However, since Baker Roshi lives in Germany for half of the year, most of your contact will be with our Senior Practice Instructors Genzan Brian DeCamp and Seishin Laurie Nusbaum.

From January through April you will participate in the traditional 90-day Practice Period, a time of ‚peaceful abiding‘. The Monastery will be closed for guests during this time. From May through October, there will be weekend sitting intensives (Zazenkai) during most months. With a few exceptions during the height of our Summer Guest Programs, there will also be weekly lectures, and opportunities for exchange about practice. During this time, we will open our facilities to to welcome external retreat leaders and their groups. Your help will be needed in accommodating these retreats. In November and through the first half of December, there will be a Zen Study Month and our annual 7-day Sesshin. You will receive study material and for individual study, as well as a curriculum to learn about foundational views of the Zen School, basic teachings, and practices.

Apply for Residency

We are happy that you are interested in our residency program! Please go ahead and contact Laurie in our office to receive the application form.

contact guest manager

If you are interested in staying with us, but would like to have more personal time, check out our Personal Retreats.

If you are interested in staying with us, but are looking for a shorter period of time, check out our Student Stays or our Volunteer Program.

If you are interested in participating in a meditation retreat or a seminar, check out our Zen Programs.

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