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.
Dai Bosatsu Zendo opens its doors to serious Zen students during the winter and summer interims. Interim residencies are generally offered from mid-December to mid-March and mid-July to late August. Beginners or well-seasoned students are welcome to apply for interim residencies. 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, though we welcome contributions. A sample interim schedule is shown below. Typical work varies with the season and includes monastery cleaning, cooking, sewing, laundry, grounds maintenance and construction projects. 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. 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.
The stillness of winter interim on Dai Bosatsu mountain offers the opportunity for deep Zen practice within a flexible schedule. Winter is the quietest time of year at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, offering a unique opportunity for serious Zen students who would like a taste of residential practice from mid-December through mid-March.
From mid-July to late August, summer interim offers a wonderful opportunity for serious Zen students interested in residential Zen practice. Dai Bosatsu Zendo is a magical place in every season, but during the summer it is particularly special. The fragrance of flowers, the sparkling lake, the songs of rare birds, rain and thunder, the warm sun and cool breezes are profoundly refreshing to the spirit.
To apply for an interim residency, call us at (845) 439-4566, or e-mail the DBZ office. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Sample Interim Schedule
All residents including interns participate in our daily schedule, which may be modified according to events:
5:30 am Wake-up 6:15
5:45 Yoga and other movement practices such as Tai Chi and Qigong
7:00 Chanting; zazen (silent meditation)
8:00 Formal breakfast (in silence, using traditional bowls and chopsticks)
8:45 Morning meeting
9:30 Breakfast cleanup / Samu (work practice)
12:30 pm Zazen
1:00 Formal lunch; cleanup
3:00 Nittensoji (temple cleaning)
Interns: (Tues–Thurs) Individual internship/independent study; journal writing
(Fri–Sun) Temple cleaning / Group work projects (assigned)
4:30 Unstructured supper, individual study and personal time
6:00 Chanting; zazen; walking meditation; zazen
7:30 Closing; quiet personal time
Dai Bosatsu Zendo offers unpaid self-directed summer internship opportunities. Many students can earn college credit for participating in an internship program. Interns will join residents in all the ritual activities of the monastery, as well as the morning work period which includes tasks such as 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, 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; studying the library or sacred art collection at DBZ; or art practices such as photography, poetry or 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 intention 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 expected to participate in all aspects of daily practice, including morning and evening meditation, chanting, and work periods when not pursuing their independent studies. They should engage fully and responsibly, be willing to learn, and comply with monastery rules of conduct.
Duration: For a minimum of four 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. The internship application deadline is May 31.
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 and an online interview. Interns are encouraged to 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 mail to Internship Program, Dai Bosatsu Zendo, 223 Beecher Lake Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758.