Kessei, a traditional three-month monastic training period, offers an unparalleled opportunity to deepen your Zen practice. The rigorous schedule of daily meditation, chanting, and work, and the beautiful remote setting on 1,400 acres deep in the Catskill Mountains, invite you to immerse yourself completely in the present moment, a rarity in one’s typically hectic, plugged-in, multitasking life.
Guided by our abbot, Shinge 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 too, as are personal and group study periods.
Students whose aspiration, sincerity, and dedication are strong are encouraged to remain at Dai Bosatsu Zendo throughout the year for as long as their life circumstances permit. Those with a deep vow may apply for ordination, which requires unwavering immersion in the 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.
Participants are encouraged to attend for the full three-month training period, but shorter stays may be arranged. The fee for a full three-month kessei is $2,000. For those who cannot come for the entire kessei period, a one-month ($750) or two-month period ($1,500) can be arranged. A Residential Scholarship Fund has been established by a donor to support applications from serious, dedicated students who need financial aid.