Kessei, a traditional three-month monastic training period offered twice each year, offers an unparalleled opportunity to deepen your Zen practice. The rigorous schedule of daily meditation, chanting, and work, and the beautiful remote setting deep in the Catskill Mountains, invite you to immerse yourself completely in the present moment, a rarity in our typically hectic, plugged-in, multitasking life. Participants are encouraged to attend for the full three-month training period, but shorter stays are possible.
Guided by Abbot Chigan Roshi and senior residents, kessei participants learn traditional Rinzai Zen forms and engage in daily zazen, sutra chanting, and study. Sesshin, a silent week of intensive practice, is held once a month, providing the opportunity for deep introspection and daily individual study. Students will be assigned samu (work practice) which includes tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for our buildings and grounds. Yoga, breath work, and other body practices are a part of the daily schedule, as are personal and group study periods. Please see Kessei for information on the current kessei period.
Students whose aspiration, sincerity, and dedication are strong are encouraged to remain at Dai Bosatsu Zendo after the completion of kessei as residents for as long as their life circumstances permit. Those with a deep vow may apply for ordination, which requires further unwavering immersion in the traditional intensive 1,000-day training of Rinzai Zen.
The DBZ community upholds high standards of personal and group conduct, rooted in the six paramitas (virtues of perfection) of the Buddhist teachings: dana (generosity), sila (living by the ten precepts), kshanti (patience and endurance), virya (assiduous, energetic practice), dhyana (zazen), and prajna (wisdom). Residents work together to provide a place where all who come can experience the Buddha-Dharma in an authentic and life-changing way.
This is the time to deepen your practice and enter into direct experience of essential freedom. We welcome applications from those whose aspiration, sincerity, and dedication are strong.
To apply for residency or for more information, email the DBZ office at email@example.com.
Shinge Roshi discusses kessei below.