Spring 2018 Practice Period at City Center: Commuter Option

Commuter Participation

Commuter participation is designed for those who live off-site and commit to a level of participation for on-site events that works for their schedule. It is suggested that commuters set up a meditation space at home and commit to a regular sitting schedule; attend the Tuesday class on-site or view later online; participate in home study and practice assignments as offered; join the dokusan or practice discussion rotation; and attend Dharma talks on-site or online.

Wise Effort in Everyday Life: Harmonizing Stillness and Activity

“Just to do something without any particular effort is enough.” —Suzuki Roshi, Right Effort

Led by Keiryu Liên Shutt and Tenzen David Zimmerman
May 1 – June 9
Applications for commuter participation due April 30


Participants can engage in the practice period in one of three ways:

About the Spring 2018 Practice Period

A Practice Period is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism and varying between six to twelve weeks in length. There are three practice periods offered onsite each year at our City Center temple—Winter, Spring and Fall. Participants can engage in a practice period in one of three ways: as a resident, as a commuter, and online.

Zen practice is often seen as “busy” and full of “correct” doing and effort. At the same time, we’ve heard, like the above quote, how we don’t need to “effort’ so much. How are we to practice with these seemingly contradictory teachings?

During this Spring Practice Period, we’ll explore teachings on Wise Effort as both prescriptive and descriptive. When can it be taken as instructive and when can it be inspirational? What did the Buddha say regarding Wise Effort? How have teachers, past and present, translated these teachings to us as instructions or encouragements to the “craft” of meditation or to our relationships, work, and the world/society?

At times of turbulence, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what one needs to do. When do we rise from the stillness, “getting off our seats”, and move into activity to “go into the world”?  Come explore with us how these two are not diametrical. Harmonizing the stillness of “non-doing” with the activity of “doing” is possible with Wise Effort.

This Spring Practice Period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with the teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include an oryoki meal, classes, ceremonies, dharma talks, and Wednesday afternoon teas with the practice period leaders. During the six weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leaders and/or other practice leaders.

Practice period teas are scheduled every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30pm beginning Wednesday, May 1 and ending Wednesday, June 6.

There will be two one-day sittings, May 5 and June 9. The practice period concludes with a three-day sesshin, beginning the evening of June 6 and ending on Saturday, June 9 (which includes the second one-day sitting).

As part of the practice period, Lien Shutt and David Zimmerman will also teach a five-week class, Practicing with Wise Effort: Stillness and Activity in Everyday Life on Tuesdays, 7:30 – 9 pm, May 8 through June 6.

Residential, online, and commuter participation in the practice period requires an application process. See the application for instructions and contact information.

The commuter option includes:

  • The Tuesday on-site practice period class, Practicing with Wise Effort: Stillness and Activity in Everyday Life.
  • Access to the Tuesday class web page which contains videos of each class.
  • Weekly Wednesday practice period tea and dharma discussion.
  • An invitation to join the dokusan or practice discussion schedule.
  • All temple Dharma talks, ceremonies, and daily zazen periods.

*The one day sittings, oryoki meals, and sesshin are available at an additional cost.

Commuter Participation Fee: $119 general; $107 current members; $95 limited income.

Commuter Practice Period Application Process:
  1. Download the online Commuter participation practice period [Word]/[PDF].
  2. Email your completed application to ccdirectorassist@sfzc.org.
  3. Pay your participation fee by using this form. Or phone the SFZC Reservations Office at 888.743.9362 or 415.475.9362. Or fill out this online form to have the Reservations Office contact you by phone or email to assist your registration.

Inquiries and comments may be directed to ccdirectorassist@sfzc.org.