After celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) is kicking off another 50 years of spiritual engagement and community building when the new guest season opens on April 26th at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Nestled in a mountain valley inland from the Big Sur coast in a remote part of the Ventana Wilderness, Tassajara was chosen for its resemblance to mountain temples & monasteries in Japan & established as the first Zen training monastery outside that country by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi - founder of San Francisco Zen Center and author of the popular Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
While Tassajara is closed to the public eight months of the year for private Zen practice, when spring blossoms and its gates swing open, it attracts yoga lovers, hot-spring enthusiasts intent on getting their soak on, zazen (meditation) seekers & artisan foodies - all looking to unplug, head off the dirt path (14 miles worth & 4-wheel drive accessible only) & soak up the serenity, taking a chance at self-discovery and indulging in second helpings of vegetarian cuisine.
Tassajara's new eco-retreat center - designed by architect Helen Degenhardt of JSW/D Architects to raise the bar on green development - will host disciplinary retreats in six specialty areas: Body Mind, Mindful Living, Spiritual Practice, Practice, Engaging Earth and Creative Expression.
For 2013, the Tassajara guest season dates are April 26 - September 9.
BRING SOME ZEN HOME (TOP): Buddha - VivaTerra; horseshoe pendant necklace - Adorn by Sarah Lewis; chrysanthemum slippers - VivaTerra; Tai Chi uniform - Tai Chi Tranquility; Decleor Voyage a Madagascar candle - feelunique.com
- Lesley Scott
(Tassajara photos by Margo Moritz via JSW/D Architects)