Winter 2018 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.

Deepening Practice through the Six Perfections

Led by Kanzan David Zimmerman, Kyoshin Wendy Lewis, and Jisan Tova Green
January 24 – March 24, 2018
Applications for residential participation due January 2

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

About the Winter 2018 Practice Period

A Practice Period is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism and is six to twelve weeks in length. There are three practice periods offered each year at our City Center temple—Winter, Spring, and Fall.

The focus of this nine-week practice period is the six perfections or paramitas, which are essential guides for Zen and Mahayana Buddhist practice. These virtues or ideals of human character—generosity, morality, tolerance, energy, meditation, and wisdom—serve as a basis for spiritual training. When cultivated, they strengthen practice and guide practitioners towards awakening. It is said that Bodhisattvas—those whose concern is the ultimate happiness of all living beings—are models of “enlightened beings” whose practice of the six perfections is highly accomplished. The perfections provide concrete guidance for developing character toward living our lives through deepened awareness and responsiveness. They provide an ethical context that focuses on daily life while offering clear purpose and direction.

Through readings, dharma talks, and discussions, as well as taking up active practices related to these areas, we will explore the meaning and expression of this teaching and how it may be applied to current personal and cultural concerns. The primary text for the practice period will be The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character by Dale Wright.

This Winter 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 nine weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leaders and/or other practice leaders.

Practice period tea is scheduled every Wednesday, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, beginning Wednesday, January 31, and ending Wednesday, March 14.

There will be two one-day sittings, on January 27 and February 24. The practice period concludes with a seven-day sesshin, March 18 – 24. All events other than the Practice Period Tea must be registered for and paid for separately.

As part of the practice period, Wendy Lewis and David Zimmerman will teach a seven-week class, Experience & Investigation: Studying the Six Paramitas, on Tuesdays, 7:30 – 9 pm, January 30 – March 13. Tova Green will teach a separate class, Bringing Down the Walls that Separate Us: Practicing with the Precepts, on Mondays, 7:30 – 9 pm, January 29 – March 12 (registration and payment for this class is not included in the practice period fee).
Three ways to participate in the Winter Practice Period:

1. 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 Tuesday, January 23.

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

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

Residential Fees: For residential participants, the class on the paramitas taught by David and Wendy, the one-day sittings, and the sesshin are included in the residential fee. Other classes and events require separate registration and fee payment.

  • Full: Requires full-time work practice at City Center:
    $1,891 shared room
    $2,379 private room, if available
  • Limited: Not working at City Center:
    $2,745 shared room
    $3,172 private room, if available
Residential Applications:
  • Download the Residential Practice Period Application [Word]/[PDF]. You may also email the office ( 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: January 2, 2018.
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.


Use the Register Online button [available soon] 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). Payment of practice period fees is required by the arrival date, January 23.

About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations

2. Commuter Participation

For those who live off-site but can attend all or part of the practice schedule on-site. Information and registration.

3. Online Participation

For those whose schedule or location doesn’t allow for regular on-site attendance of temple events. Information and registration.