Alison BankWhether you go for the meditation, yoga, hot springs, the artisan bread, acclaimed vegetarian cuisine, or celebrity retreat leaders, you will find it in Big Sur. This remote and oldest Zen Monastery in the U.S., twenty-five miles southeast of San Francisco, announces its annual guest season from April 26 – September 9, 2013. 

Nestled in a mountain valley, inland from the coast in a remote part of the Ventana Wilderness, Tassajara has been long known as a place for self-discovery, healing and an escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi , author of the modern spiritual classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, founded the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962, and established Tassajara as the first Zen training monastery outside of Japan in 1967. Tassajara has come to host celebrity guests (including Steve Jobs, CA Governor Jerry Brown, Joan Baez) and vacationers alike for more than 45 years.

Eight months of the year Tassajara is closed to the general public for private Zen practice. Today, Tassajara is internationally recognized as the most remote Zen center in the United States and beckons as a top destination for Buddhist practitioners and vacationers alike.

Shundo David HayeOnly accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles via a 14-mile dirt road, Tassajara is an eco-efficient paradise garnering 100% of its energy from solar panels and the local hot springs. The hot springs have proven to be a main attraction of the Monterey/Salinas area following the native Esselen people’s discovery of the springs in the 1870’s. Generations of settlers and visitors have come ever since seeking renewal and tranquility.

The Tassajara Program Schedule 2013 offers disciplinary retreats in the following six specialty areas, all led by some of today’s leading teachers: Body Mind, Mindful Living, Spiritual Practice, Practice, Engaging Earth, and Creative Expression.

Margo Moritz-2Standout retreat leaders for the 2013 guest season include
*Wendy Johnson (Author, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate),
*Annie Somerville (Executive Chef, Greens Restaurant, SF, CA),
*Naomi Shihab Nye (Published Poet),
*Andrew Mellen (Author, More Love, Less Stuff), and
*Leo Babauta (Zen Habits Blog).

Tassajara has a new eco-retreat center that was designed with the highest standards in green development, by architect Helen Degenhardt, JSW/D Architects. All retreats will be held in the new center.

TassajaraTassajara offers a special opportunity for the general public to unplug, reconnect with themselves, and relax. Visitors soak in the hot springs, meander along the trails, savor Tassajara’s celebrated vegetarian cuisine, stay in beautiful accommodations, participate in zazen (meditation), and enjoy the eclectic retreats offered by some of today’s leading teachers.
Tassajara invites visitors to explore the variety of ways that Zen and other complementary practices can inform and enrich one’s life through the Tassajara Program Schedule 2013:

banner-zafusBody Mind Retreats:
Dragon Song: A Zen and Vinyasa Yoga Retreat; April 26 – 29
Zen and Swimming Dragon Tai Chi: May 6 – 12
Healing with Qigong: May 12 – 16
Wisdom Body: Prajna Yoga and Zen Meditation; May 19 – 23
Natural Radiance: Exploring the Union of Body, Breath, and Mind in Yoga and Zen; May 23 – 26
Satori and Salutations: Opening to the Heart of Zen and Yoga; May 30 – June 30
Breath of Fire, Breath of Peace: Returning through Zen and Yoga; June 7 – 10
Enter the Dharma Gate of Repose and Bliss: A Zen Meditation and Triputi Yoga Therapeutics Retreat; June 10 – 13
Readiness of Mind: Lifestream of Yoga Nourishment Weekend; June 13 – 17
Awake and at Ease with All Things: A Yoga and Zen Retreat; June 17 – 21
The Vitality of the True Self: A Yoga and Zen Retreat; June 21 – 23; June 23 – 28
The Healing Power of Stillness: Restorative Yoga and Zen; July 5 – 10
Listening to the Voice of Your Body: A Gentle Yoga and Zen Retreat; July 10 – 14
Yoga-Zen Mind, Compassionate Heart-Mind; July 14 – 19 and August 4 – 9
Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body: A Zen Mind, Yoga Body Retreat; July 19 – 21
Thriving in Uncertainty: A Workshop in the Mindfulness Practice of Sensory Awareness; July 21 – 26
Alison Bank-2True Body, True Self: Radical Presence through Zen and Yoga; July 26 – 29
Balanced and Awake: Zen and Yoga to Harmonize Mind and Body; August 2 – 4
The Significance of Joy: A Zen and Yoga Retreat; August 16 – 18
Continuous Practice: A Living Circle of Yoga and Zen; August 18 – 22
Deep Restoration, Deep Healing: A Zen Mind, Yoga Body Retreat; August 22 – 25
Yin Yoga, Wisdom Zen: A Joyful Harvest; September 1 – 6
The Mind and Body of Practice in Zen and Yoga; September 6 – 9

Mindful Living Retreats:
Finding Balance in a Difficult Profession: A Retreat for Lawyers; April 26 – 30
True Person Retreat: Discovering The Life You’re Meant to Live; May 2 – 5
Dogen’s Teachings as Gifts to Those in Recovery ; June 10 – 13
Know Yourself, Forget Yourself: The Mindful Leader; August 9 – 11
Getting to What Matters: More Love, Less Stuff; August 30 – September 1
Flexible Mind, Flexible Heart: How to be Happy at Work: September 6 – 9

Spiritual Practice Retreats:
The Spirit of Practice: Christian and Zen; June 28 – July 5
The Human Journey: A Buddhist Exploration of Calling and Contribution; July 10 – 14
Presenting Suzuki Roshi’s Teachings: July 19 – 21
Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong; August 9 – 11
Stories from the Book of Serenity: August 11 – 16

Kaisando w people editPractice Retreats:
Sangha Week: April 26 – May 2
Sangha Week: May 12 – 17
Santa Cruz Zen Center: May 26 – 30
Dharma en Español Sangha: June 6 – 10
Study Week: June 13 – 17
LGBTIQ Queer Dharma Study Week: June 23 – 27

Engaging Earth Retreats:
The Nature of Zen: May 2 – 5
Wildflowers and Birds of Tassajara: May 9 – 12
Zen in the Kitchen: June 7 – 10
Dragon Greens: A Cooking and Gardening Summer Solstice Celebration; May 21 – 23

Creative Expression Retreats:
Words Under the Words: May 26 – 30
Learning To Sit, Learning To Draw, Learning To See; July 5 – 10
Spontaneous Zen: A Workshop in Meditation and Autobiographical Improvisation; July 29 – August 2 Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Zen Mindfulness & Creativity Retreat; August 18 – 22
banner-mountainBrush Mind: August 25 – 30

Links: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center Website: and San Francisco Zen Center Website: