Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the Ventana Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest, southeast of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Sōtō Zen monastery in the United States.
During the winter months, practitioners live on site. During the summer months, the Center is opened to day and overnight guests.
They improved the property and renamed it The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, or Zenshinji (Zen Mind Temple), during Shunryu Suzuki's tenure as its first abbot. When it was purchased in 1967, it was the first Zen monastery outside of Asia.
Calendars and schedules
A practice period (ango in Japanese) denotes a period of intensive monastic practice. During the fall (September–December) and spring (January–April) practice periods, Tassajara is closed to the public.
After the practice periods, Tassajara is open to the public from mid-April through early September.
For students, this period also allows them to earn credits toward the fall and spring practice periods.
The guest season, with less rigorous daily schedules, is a cornerstone of Tassajara's economic well-being.
Edward Espe Brown's Tassajara Bread Book, published by Shambhala Publications in 1970 and revised in 1986 and 1995, is often credited as a major catalyst for the popularity of artisanal baking in the United States, while his Tassajara Recipe Book is the best known of several books of general vegetarian cuisine produced by authors connected with the Center.