Zen Mountain Monastery
So. Plank Rd, PO Box 197
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
Zen Mountain Monastery is a monastic training center providing traditional yet distinctly Western Zen training to people of all ages and religious backgrounds. With a resident community of female and male monastics and lay trainees, the Monastery offers a wide variety of programs and retreats for both beginning and advanced Buddhist practitioners. Set in a nature preserve in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, the Monastery offers an atmosphere conducive to self-study and introspection.
Authentic Zen Training
ZMM’s training schedule is a continuation of the centuries-old tradition established in the Zen Buddhist monasteries of China and Japan. Every year, two 90-day intensives called ango bring into focus MRO students’ commitment to religious training within the Order—regardless of whether they are in residence or living in the world. Each month, a week-long silent meditation retreat or sesshin offers participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in Zen’s quintessential practice of zazen, seated meditation, as well as to experience the tradition’s very particular approach to liturgy and face-to-face instructions with a teacher. The summer and winter interim periods nicely balance the intensity of ango by shifting emphasis to more outwardly-oriented retreats in the summer warmer months and solitary study and introspection in the wintertime.
By mirroring the seasonal shift of the training schedule, the weekly retreats offered at ZMM both support and enhance the carefully crafted rhythm of the monastic community, at the same time that they offer visitors a chance to directly experience life in a Zen monastery. Well-known scholars share their knowledge and practice of the Buddhist sutras and related texts in our popular Academic Study retreats. Yoga, Qigong and Aikido instructors each present their views and understanding of Body Practice and its relationship to the spiritual journey. Monthly Introductions to Zen Training Retreats led by MRO’s teachers and senior staff offer a comprehensive introduction to Zen training as it has developed within the MRO. Liturgy, the Buddhist Precepts, the Zen Arts, Wilderness Exploration, Right Action, and Work as Sacred Labor, are but a few of the themes offered in our annual roster of retreats.
As one of the few Zen monastic training centers in the west, ZMM is in the unique position of offering spiritual seekers a rare blend of authentic—yet distinctly Western—Zen training. Participants can experience monastic daily life whilst engaging in retreats specifically designed to address the concerns of twenty-first century practitioners. Whether through the study of kado (flower arranging) or the exploration of the role of the Precepts in the workplace, our training program is always grounded on a single premise: the clear and personal realization of enlightenment and its functioning in the world.
Ryushin Konrad Marchaj