Residency at Zen Center

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Sweetwater Zen Center (SWZC) is a Zen Buddhist Community Temple located in National City, CA in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. We are an urban practice community dedicated to awakening in the context of our lives, as they are, so that we might manifest wisdom and compassion in family, work, and the many responsibilities that make up our day-to-day lives.

Formal practice at SWZC centers on four aspects: zazen, council practice, studying with a teacher, and service through social engagement and community involvement. We observe a weekly schedule of zazen, Buddhist service, and work practice, as well as monthly sesshin, ango, and other intensive periods of practice. These elements are accompanied by an emphasis on living in community, working together through shared stewardship, interfaith activity and social engagement.

For Zen students, residential training offers the opportunity to deepen practice by working with a resident teacher and a community of practitioners. For those interested in living in community, residential life at SWZC provides opportunities to pursue their own spiritual path while deepening their practice of living in relationship with others (community practice), working with others (shared stewardship), and communication.

Residency Fees and Contact Information:

Short-term residency—whether as a guest stay, personal retreat, or zen student–are available for periods as short as a week, and as long as three months. For short term resident rates and application please contact the SWZC Guest master.

Long-term residents live as resident members living in community, following the meditation schedule, and engaging in cooperative labor around the Center while engaging in work, school or family responsibilities. Cottage housing fees are $975 for one person and $1025 for two people, not including utilities. The fees include housing, membership, discounted intensive retreats and opportunity to meet with a teacher.

If you have questions about joining the residential program at Sweetwater Zen Center or you would like to apply for residency, please contact the Community Gateway Circle . We will send you an application, answer any questions you have, and if you choose to apply, schedule an information session or interview.

Minimal practice requirements for resident membership are:

  1. Participate in community practice by working with the community guidelines (See residence policy).
  2. Participate in caring for the Center at least 3 hours per month. (Volunteer work)
  3. Support and encourage each other’s practice.

For current Residents:

If you need a repair, please fill out a Repair and Safety request Form. The Buildings and Grounds Circle will contact you as soon as a form is submitted. Thank you!