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meditation retreat at Zen Buddhist Temple


Cultivating Community


Zen Buddhist Temple provides a quiet and contemplative environment for people to pursue Buddhist practice more seriously, to seek peace of mind and solitude, or for those who need a quiet place for personal and spiritual reasons. The residents participate in temple programs in the mornings and/or evenings while maintaining their job or studies.


There are two important things to remember during your stay. The first is this present moment of your life. “If you wish to know your past life, look at your present life. If you wish to know your future, watch what you are doing today.” Your present is the result of your past and is the cause of your future. In other words, your past and future are contained in the present moment of your life. You can correct your past and create your future by concentrating on your present moment. You must realize that your life does not exist apart from the present moment. Therefore, please take care of your present moment.


The second thing is that you are in a temple where you can cultivate your mind and pursue the path to peace and happiness. The temple is a special place dedicated to the practice of Dharma, the healing and awakening of the mind and the promotion of right livelihood and compassionate living. As such, the Buddhist temple serves as a sanctuary and Pure Land for people who are deeply concerned with their spiritual enlightenment and salvation of all beings. The existence of a Buddhist temple in our society as the house of love and compassion and light of wisdom brings hope to many. So please honor and adorn your Buddhist temple with your commitment to Dharma practice and the Bodhisattva vows.

Play the Host Bodhisattva

Being in the temple and focusing on the present moment of your life puts you in a privileged position as a host bodhisattva. The host bodhisattva is always on the alert and cares for everything in the community. The heart of the host bodhisattva is full of selfless feelings and thoughts and delights in taking care of people and things, not only for the community, but for everyone. The host bodhisattva does not feel like a guest nor feel alienated, rather he/she is always at home and at one with different situations. The universe belongs to the host bodhisattva! “Play the host where you find yourself and truth will prevail from where you stand.”


Play the host by honoring temple customs and respecting the community. It is the Buddhist task to free ourselves from our selfish desires in order to realize the oneness of all life and to practice love and compassion towards all.


  • Adopt the “watercourse” way of life, which is a non-judgmental and active nonresistance practice. Be happy and grateful for the opportunity to learn and study Buddha-dharma and blend with the lifestyle of the temple.

  • Maintain calm and peace and avoid distractions and excitements. Remember that you are staying at the temple for no other reason than your spiritual cultivation.

  • It is important to follow the temple schedule and guidelines and to harmonize with the spirit of the place.

  • Do small and simple things mindfully. The Way of Buddha lies in everyday affairs and performing everyday tasks. Apply your everyday mind and express your Buddha-nature.

  • Love the Way of Buddha and enjoy your Dharma work.

Application & Requirements


Eligibility & Screening

As space is limited, priority is given first to people in formal training (Maitreya Buddhist Seminary, Dharma Guardian or Dharma Worker) then to people seeking to experience temple life and deepen their practice. Considerations may be made for charity at the discretion of the jeolrector (Temple Director). Applicants must complete the application form and sign a liability waiver. The jeolrector will schedule a screening interview for visitors intending to stay one month or longer and may conduct a criminal background check. Applicants may also be asked to attend morning practice and breakfast to meet with the community as part of the screening process.

Practice Schedule


Meditation practice is the foundation of temple life. Please devote yourself to spiritual cultivation seriously and with integrity.

  • Visitors staying longer than one month must complete the Introductory Meditation Course and become a practicing member.

  • Attend morning practice Monday through Friday unless you are tired or ill. Attend Wednesday evening member sitting if your schedule allows.

  • You are welcome to use the meditation hall for personal practice when it is not in use.



  • Attend weekly community meetings for residents.

  • Perform weekly cleaning/work practice.

  • While in the temple wear loose fitting, modest clothing in subdued colors.

  • Maintain a quiet presence during the day. Music or other media should not disturb the quiet environment.

  • The night bell is struck at 10 pm signaling lights out and silence.

  • When closing doors, check that they have firmly closed and are locked.

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle. Be frugal in your use of water, electricity, and heat.

  • Care for your private space keeping it clean and orderly.

  • When using public spaces such as the kitchen, bathrooms and sangha hall, clean up after yourself immediately. Leave no trace.

  • If not participating in temple programming such as courses and retreats, keep out of sight of participants. Observe silence.

  • When leaving residency, clean your private space thoroughly and remove all your belongings. You are responsible for any repairs or special cleaning necessary to return the space to its original condition. All keys must be returned to temple staff.



Your monthly payment will depend on the location and the size of the room. Please check with your local temple.

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