Located in Contra Costa County, California, is Tassajara, an unincorporated community known for its spiritual history. Established in 1962, the San Francisco Zen Center developed three practice locations, including the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, which is the first monastery to offer Zoto Zen training. The mission behind the San Francisco Zen Center is to embody the teachings of compassion and wisdom of the Buddha. Their practices derive from Shakyamuni Buddha, and their intentions are to profess the non-duality of awakening. As the first monastery established in the western world, the Zen center carries special, historical significance.

The life cycle of Tassajara flows in two seasons. During the months of September through April, monastery students spend their days working, studying, and following the traditional Buddhist schedule. They begin their morning with seated meditation, and the teachings they follow date back to more than thirteen hundred years when the Tang Dynasty flourished. After the months-long season comes to an end, the monastery opens its teachings to a more significant amount of community members. The focus shifts from deep, inner workings to sharing the wisdom with the community and the enjoyment Tassajara has to offer.

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