Sunday Morning Program
During non-pandemic times, the Sunday Program is open to the public and offered every week of the year. If it’s your first visit, you would receive beginning instruction in Zen meditation, an orientation to the Monastery, and have the opportunity to meet monastics, residents and lay practitioners. During the pandemic, you can visit for a retreat or receiving Beginning Instruction online.
Sunday Schedule (**NOTE: closed for new visitors during post pandemic, see above)
9-9:30am: Chanting and Bowing Service
9:30-11am: Beginning Instruction in zazen (Zen meditation) (**NOTE: online only until further notice)
11-noon: Formal Discourse
noon-1pm: Lunch and clean-up
Please arrive by 8:45am, and plan to stay for the whole morning.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and dress modestly (no shorts, short skirts or sleeveless shirts, please).
Suggested donation: $5
Once a month on Saturdays in summer and during the Sunday Morning Program, we also offer our Zen Kids/Teens programs.
Wednesday Evening Meditation
Beginning instruction and zazen offered weekly except during sesshin weeks. Please call first to confirm 845.688.2228.
March – December: 7:30-9pm
January – February: 6:30-8pm
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled sitting and plan to join us afterwards for refreshments and conversation.
Once you’ve received beginning instruction and an orientation the Monastery on either a Sunday or Wednesday, you’re welcome to join us during the Monastery’s regular weekly schedule of morning and evening zazen (except during sesshin weeks). Directions to Zen Mountain Monastery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Monastery open to the public?
The Monastery is open to anyone, however it is a cloistered environment, and we ask that visitors respect the monastic training schedule. Please plan your visit during our Sunday Morning Program or Wednesday Evening Meditation, both open to first-time visitors. Once you’ve received an introduction on either a Sunday or Wednesday, you’re welcome to join us for formal practice during the Monastery’s regular weekly schedule of morning and evening zazen (except during sesshin weeks). Directions to Zen Mountain Monastery.
What should I wear?
Please wear loose-fitting clothing, dark or muted in color so as not to distract others. Please dress modestly and do not wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, short skirts, tank tops or any perfumes or fragrances.
What is zazen and how is it different from other forms of meditation?
Zazen is seated meditation and is the heart of Zen practice. During zazen, we assume a specific posture and use the breath as the focus of our awareness. Zazen is done in perfect stillness. Although it is relatively simple to learn, the practice deepens and matures over a lifetime.
If I visit the Monastery, do I have to participate in zazen?
Yes. Zazen is an important part of all of our formal programs, including our retreats. When you come to the Monastery, you are expected to fully participate in zazen with the rest of the community.
I experience a great deal of discomfort when I use a cushion—are there any other options for meditation?
Yes, you can use either a seiza (kneeling) bench or a chair. During meditation instruction, you’ll receive instruction on how to take the zazen posture in these positions.
I would like to visit the Monastery grounds, but do not wish to participate in your formal programs. Is this possible?
We offer tours of the grounds on selected Sundays throughout the year. Please call the training office for details.
I have a large group of people interested in visiting the Monastery. What should I do?
Please call the training office for details. Depending on your group, we may be able to accommodate you during our Wednesday evening or Sunday morning programs.
Does the Monastery offer workshops and retreats?
Yes. See our Retreats.
I would like to attend a retreat at the Monastery. What can I expect?
Please see our section on Coming to a Retreat.
I am interested in exploring Zen practice and training more deeply. What do you suggest?
Our Introduction to Zen Training Retreat, offered each month, is an excellent way to explore Zen training as it happens at the Monastery.
Does the Monastery offer a Youth Program?
Yes. Read about our Zen Kids/Teens Program.