Outside of our kessei periods, Dai Bosatsu Zendo opens its doors during the winter and summer interim periods to serious beginners and seasoned Zen students who seek a taste of residential Zen practice. There are several options.
If you are interested in experiencing monastic residency for a minimum of two weeks, generally mid-December to late January and mid-May to late August, you may qualify for interim residency. Read More
Dai Bosatsu Zendo offers unpaid self-directed summer internship opportunities. Many students can earn college credit for participating in an internship program. Read More
Join us for the weekend starting Friday afternoon and ending Sunday afternoon. When weather allows, samu focuses on outdoor work, such as weeding and raking. Participants may also engage in nittensoji (temple cleaning), tenzo (cooking) work, and other tasks in and around the monastery. Read More
Dai Bosatsu Zendo opens its doors to serious Zen students during the winter and summer interims. Beginners or well-seasoned students are welcome. If you are interested in experiencing monastic residency for a minimum of two weeks, from mid-December to late January and/or from mid-May to late August, you may qualify for interim residency. Your sincere motivation to deepen your practice and your willingness to follow monastic rules and give of yourself while working, sitting, and living with fellow residents are the most important requirements. There is no fee for Interim Residency.
Between the second week of December and the end of January, Dai Bosatsu Zendo experiences its quietest time of year. This is a good opportunity for serious Zen students who would like a taste of residential practice. We accept students interested in joining our practice community for a minimum of two weeks. Each day consists of a simple daily routine: 5:30 wake-up, an hour of yoga, an hour of zazen, formal breakfast, morning meeting followed by a work period until our silent, formal lunch. After lunch clean-up, we have a break until the afternoon work period. Evening zazen is from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. After evening zazen we retire.
Typical work includes monastery cleaning, cooking, sewing, laundry, snow shoveling, construction projects and whatever else needs doing. We ask that you carry out all aspects of practice quietly and thoroughly for at least five and-a-half days each week. Rest period is Sunday after lunch through Monday evening. Students have a simple room that may or may not be private. It is unlikely that Shinge Roshi will be at DBZ during winter interim. Contact with the outside world is limited. Bring a telephone calling card for your use. There is no phone reception and only minimal internet access. If you are subject to any kind of seasonal depression, this may not be the best time of year to consider a period of residency at DBZ.
From mid-May to late August, DBZ hosts guest groups who rent our facilities to conduct their retreats. Summer interim is a wonderful opportunity for serious Zen students interested in residential Zen practice. We accept students interested in joining our practice community for a minimum of two weeks. The summer interim schedule puts a greater emphasis on work practice as we care for our guests. Each day begins at 5:30 a.m. with an hour of yoga and an hour of zazen followed by a silent, formal breakfast and a work period until our silent, formal lunch. After a break we have another work period. We sit in the evening in accord with the guest group’s schedule. Occasionally caring for guests takes precedence over sitting. When hosting guests, the demands of our work constantly change. Typical work includes cleaning the monastery for guest arrival and after departure, cooking, laundry, and whatever else needs doing. When we host groups we occasionally work extra hours in a day. At times work will spill over into breaks. We ask that you work diligently and thoroughly for at least five-and-a half days of each week. Rest period is typically from Sunday after the group leaves through Monday evening. Students have a simple room that may or may not be private. Contact with the outside world is limited. Bring a telephone calling card for your use. There is no phone reception and only minimal internet access.
To apply for an interim residency, call us at (845) 439-4566, or e-mail the DBZ office.
Interns will join residents in all the ritual activities of the monastery, as well as the morning work period preparing guest rooms, temple cleaning, laundry, helping with vegetarian meals in the monastery’s professional kitchen, maintaining grounds and trails, and tasks related to special skills. Through such work, students gain valuable experience in contemplative life, hospitality for guest groups, Japanese etiquette and culture, and sustainability. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, interns may pursue their independent studies in such areas as identifying rare plants, animals, and birds on the mountain and around the lake; taking notes on the kitchen; studying the library or sacred art collection at DBZ; or practicing calligraphy.
Expectations: Zen practice is a way of bringing clarity to one’s life circumstances and focusing the mind; it provides a way of investigating our most vital questions, so that our most important decisions can be informed by our intentions to live a life that is meaningful for ourselves and others. Time management, stress reduction, good work habits, and increased intuitive awareness evolve from this kind of intensive immersion, and provide life-long benefits. Interns are encouraged to participate in all aspects of daily practice, including morning and evening meditation, chanting, and work periods. They are expected to engage fully and responsibly, be willing to learn, and comply with monastery rules of conduct.
Duration: For a minimum of three weeks, from mid-May through late August. Start and end dates are flexible. Although the internships are unpaid, depending on the university or college internship program, academic credit may be available.
Eligibility: Full-time students majoring in religion, Asian studies, environmental science, forestry, biodiversity, geology, creative writing, food studies, nutrition, health policy, hospitality management, public health, exercise science, education, and related fields. Preference will be given to those going into their junior and senior years, as well as to recent graduates.
Requirements: A cover letter stating the applicant’s interest in the internship, intention, and motivation. He or she should submit a resume that includes relevant coursework, related experience, volunteer work, and awards. Names, positions, and contact information for two or more academic and personal references should also be included. Once the applicant contacts DBZ, a residential application will be sent to them.
Deadline: April 30.
Selection Process: Applicants will be chosen based on the DBZ residential application, their resumes and cover letters, relevant coursework, professional and academic references, areas of interest, a residential application and a phone interview. Interns are encouraged begin (or continue) a daily meditation practice and to keep a daily journal of reflections.
Please send application information to the DBZ office, or by post to Internship Program, Dai Bosatsu Zendo, 223 Beecher Lake Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758.
Sample Summer Interim Schedule
All residents including interns participate in our daily schedule, which in is modified according to events and groups being hosted:
5:30 am Wake-up
7:00 Chanting; zazen (silent meditation lasting 40 – 50 minutes)
8:00 Formal Breakfast (in silence, using bowls and chopsticks in a structured manner
8:45 Morning meeting
9:30 Group work projects (assigned)
1:00 pm Formal Lunch; cleanup
3:00 (T-Th) Individual internship/independent study work projects; journal writing
3:00 (F-Sun) Group work projects (assigned)
4:30 Unstructured supper and/or personal time
6:00 Chanting; zazen; walking meditation; zazen
7:30 Closing; quiet personal time
Mindful work is emphasized. All are welcome, including families, but please let us know in advance if you plan to attend so that we can plan accordingly Also, do tell us about any special talents or skills you may have! If this will be your first visit, arrive early enough on Friday to attend an orientation in the late afternoon. There is no fee for samu weekends, but donations are gratefully accepted.