Spring 2019 Practice Period at City Center: Residential Option

Residential Participation

Residential practice period participants join the full practice period schedule, or a limited schedule that includes everything except the daily work practice.

At Home in the Boundless Heart: Embodying the Four Brahmaviharas

“What we frequently think about and dwell upon becomes the shape of our mind. The shape of our mind shapes our world of experience.” —Shakyamuni Buddha

Led by Abiding Abbot Tenzen David Zimmerman
May 1 – June 8
Applications for residential participation due Saturday, April 20

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

About the Spring 2019 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.

The theme of the six-week Spring Practice Period is “At Home in the Boundless Heart: Embodying the Four Brahmaviharas.” The Brahmaviharas, or “sublime attitudes,” are the Buddha’s primary heart teachings—the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness. The four Brahmaviharas are kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). These interrelated “divine abodes” or “immeasurable” attitudes of love are more than a list of positive emotions. Indeed, when practiced and fully realized together they become the very landscape and embodiment of liberation.

While the Brahmaviharas are innate human capacities, cultivating them as qualities of mindfulness allows them to serve as antidotes to our limiting and reactive emotional and psychological habits. As relational qualities, the Brahmaviharas serve as the foundation of all respectful, healthy, and dignified societies, communities, families, and interpersonal relationships. In practicing the Brahmaviharas, we widen the circle of our concern and care beyond ourselves and come to understand the ways in which we can be active participants in the healing and awakening of our world.

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 leader. During the six weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leader and/or other practice leaders.

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

There will be a one-day sitting on May 4. The practice period concludes with a three-day sesshin, beginning the evening of Wednesday, June 5 and ending on Saturday, June 8.

As part of the practice period Tenzen David Zimmerman will also teach a five-week class, Cultivating a Boundless Heart with the Brahmaviharas, on Tuesdays, 7:30 – 9 pm, May 7 through June 4.

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

Residential Participation

Residential practice period participants join the full practice period schedule, or a limited schedule that includes everything except the daily work practice. Residential participants should plan to arrive by the early afternoon of Monday, April 29.

Note: We will accept new residential participants in the practice period based on available housing. If you want to practice as a resident, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as residential space is limited.

Residential Fees

Full Participation – for those who want to live and work full-time in the temple

  • $1,271 shared room
  • $1,681 private room, if available

Limited Resident – for those who want to live in the temple and work offsite

  • $1,927 shared room
  • $2,255 private room, if available
Residential Applications:
  • Download the Residential Practice Period Application [Word] / [PDF]. You may also email the office (ccoffice@sfzc.org) to request one, or call 415.863.3136.
  • To process residential applications, a non-refundable fee of $30 is required. Use the Register Online button under "Payment," below, or include payment with your application, or call our toll-free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362).
Deadline for residential applications: Saturday, April 20, 2019.

Please sign up early in order to best support the program.

Inquiries, comments, and feedback may be directed to ccoffice@sfzc.org.


Use the Register Online button to pay your non-refundable residential application fee of $30. Or call our toll-free number 888.743.9362 or our local number 415.475.9362. Full payment of practice period fees is required by the arrival date, May 1.

Commuter Option: For those who live off-site but can attend all or part of the practice schedule on-site.

Online Option: For those whose schedule or location doesn’t allow for regular on-site attendance of temple events.

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