Winter 2019 Practice Period at City Center: Commuter Option, CC 1/23 – 3/23

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.

The Heart of the Zen Way

Led by Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller
January 23 – March 23, 2019
Applications for commuters due January 11

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

About the Winter 2019 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 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 Winter Practice Period is “The Heart of the Zen Way.” The heart, both the essence and the source of wholeheartedness, is enlivened by our sincere effort. Moment by moment sincere heart-felt effort creates the Way.

Although the presence that experiences each moment requires no special abilities or accomplishments, sustaining it illuminates the nature of being and liberation. Fear subsides, the heart is healed and life blossoms. The Wisdom Beyond Wisdom Heart Sutra, the traditional Mahayana Buddhist articulation of this Way, describes this practice through negations: “no path, no insight, no attainment, and nothing to attain ...” It invites each practitioner to let go of all fixed ideas and to realize directly the wisdom and compassion of liberation. Throughout this practice period, we will endeavor to engage the teachings of the Heart Sutra and experience directly how they provide the basis for traditional Zen practices. These practices challenge us to experience the interbeing of the circumstances of our lives while not getting stuck in the reality they create.

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 teas are scheduled every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30pm beginning Wednesday, January 23 and ending Wednesday, March 13. There will be two one-day sittings, on January 26 and February 23. The practice period concludes with a seven-day sesshin, March 17 – 23. All events other than the Practice Period Tea must be registered for and paid for separately.

As part of the practice period, Paul Haller will also teach a seven-week class, The Heart of the Way of Zen, on Mondays, 7:30 – 9 pm, January 28 – March 11.

The commuter option includes:

  • The Monday on-site practice period class, The Heart of the Way of Zen.
  • Access to the Monday 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: $169 general; $152 current members; $135 limited income.

Commuter Practice Period Application Process:
  1. Download the Commuter participation practice period application [Word]/[PDF].
  2. Email your completed application to
  3. Pay your participation fee here

Inquiries and comments may be directed to

About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations