San Francisco Zen Center is thrilled to continue its distinguished spiritual engagement and community building with the public opening of this year's guest season (May 1 - September 14, 2014) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. As spring blossoms, the gates to Tassajara open to Zen and meditation seekers, yoga lovers, artisan foodies, and people looking to unplug and experience a truly serene environment; 7 months of the year Tassajara is closed to the general public for private Zen practice.
Nestled in a mountain valley, inland from the Big Sur 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. In 1967, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (Founder of San Francisco Zen Center, Author of the seminal Buddhist book, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) established Tassajara as the first Zen training monastery outside of Japan. Suzuki Roshi searched for a mountain temple similar to the monasteries in Japan and China, and was able to purchase Tassajara through the support of the Zen community, friends, and patrons. 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.
Only 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.
For the forthcoming 2014 guest season, Tassajara utilizes its new eco-retreat center that was designed with the highest standards in green development, by architect Helen Degenhardt (JSW/D Architects; the retreat center was completed in 2012); all retreats will be held in the retreat center. In October 2013, San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Degenhardt's work at Tassajara in the Home & Garden section. The Tassajara Program Schedule 2014 offers disciplinary retreats in the following six specialty areas, all led by some of today's leading teachers: Body and Mind, Mindful Living, Creative Expression, Engaging Earth, Spiritual Practice, and Zen Study & Practice.
Tassajara offers a special opportunity for the general public to recharge, relax, and reconnect with themselves. 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 most celebrated teachers. Tassajara invites visitors to explore the variety of ways that Zen and other complementary practices can inform and enrich one's life.