Attending kessei, a traditional three-month training period held each spring and fall, offers an unparalleled opportunity to grow, be challenged, and deepen your practice. The rigorous schedule and remote, beautiful setting allow students to immerse themselves completely in their practice– a rare opportunity in our hectic, plugged-in, multitasking world.
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 with Shinge Roshi. Students will be assigned samu (work practice) which includes tasks such as working in our organic garden, 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. Scholarships may be arranged for serious and committed Zen students.
For the first time, we’ll hold a winter kessei at DBZ, starting January 30, 2019, offering participants an opportunity to dig down into their practice with none of the usual distractions of the guest season. We have 11 residents at this fall kessei—all male!—and we look forward to most of them staying on for this intensive winter experience, joined by other Sangha members who are ready to go deeper.