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Tassajara Sitting

In Soto Zen, we emphasize sitting zazen (meditation) daily. When we sit, we see what arises without expectations, and through this practice we become intimate with the world around us. In this slideshow, we take a look at other ways that we sit at Tassajara. Read more


A Message from the Shuso and A Video of Snow at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Heather Iarusso is the shuso (head monk) of the Winter 2018 Practice Period at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Serving as shuso is strenuous. From the moment she rises before 3:50 am to wake everyone up to the intimate shuso teas she hosts and dharma talks she delivers, she must give herself entirely to the role of shuso, serving beside the practice period teacher, Ryushin Paul Haller. It is a rite of passage, six months after which Heather can begin leading practice discussions. Read more


The Still Point by Mary Mocine

The title of my retreat at Tassajara is “Finding Stillness Amid the Storm of Legal Practice.” This notion of stillness is central to a useful law practice, I believe. It is not a static or sort of dead stillness. It is instead alert and willing and ready, yet balanced and grounded. Implicit here is a great freedom that arises from nonattachment. Read more


Like a Fish in a Puddle

Nenju ceremony by Renshin Bunce

by Zenshin Greg Fain, Tanto (head of practice) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

During practice period at Tassajara, on the day before a personal day, we celebrate the ceremony of Nenju, renewing our commitment to practice and anticipating a little extra time to go for a hike, do laundry, what have you. The kokyo or chant leader solemnly intones an invocation for us all, one of which begins:

Carefully listen everyone.

Twenty-five centuries, three years ago, the great Tathagata entered nirvana.

When this day is gone, your life also decreases.

Like a fish in a puddle, what pleasure is there here?

After the events of January 27, I will forever hear those words in a very particular and personal way. Read more


Shuso’s Blog for Fall 2017 Practice Period Now Available

Allison Tait, Kyoji Kanshin (“Humble Self, Generous Heart”) has published the first post of her Shuso blog for the current practice period.

You can now visit Allison’s blog at



A Message in Response to Violence

Dear Sangha,

The abbatial leadership and all at San Francisco Zen Center join with people throughout this country and the world in mourning those who lost their lives, the hundreds who were wounded, and the families and friends of so many who were harmed in the indiscriminate killing of innocent people in Las Vegas. We also thank the many individuals—professional police, fire fighters, paramedics, ambulance drivers, doctors and nurses, as well as the citizens at the scene—who risked their lives to help protect and save, and recover one another.
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These Final Days of Summer

Lauren Dito-Keith, the Director Assistant at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center gave us an account of the final days of summer guest season. Here is what she wrote: Read more


Tassajara Zen Mountain Center Celebrates 50 Years

On July 4, 2017, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center formally celebrated its 50th anniversary. On this beautiful summer day with a light warm breeze and clear skies, Senior Dharma Teacher Tenshin Reb Anderson led the community in a 50th Anniversary Founders Day Ceremony to celebrate our dedication to zazen and the Buddha’s way. Read more


Engaged Action at Standing Rock, North Dakota

Wendy Johnson answers a compelling call for clergy to gather in prayer and solidarity with the Standing Rock Water Protectors. 

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Not Harming and Doing Good (in the Long Now)

A Statement from the Abbatial Leadership of San Francisco Zen Center




We, as the abbatial leaders, would like to express our gratitude for the many expressions of appreciation and concern that we have heard since putting out our post-election statement calling for unity, mutual respect, and loving-kindness. Thank you. The true body and mind of San Francisco Zen Center are made up of all of us together who care about this community and the world. Read more