Vacation for the Soul: Tassajara Zen Retreats

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2012, San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) is thrilled to begin its next 50 years of spiritual engagement and community building with the public opening of this year's guest season (April 26 - September 9, 2013) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

As spring blossoms, the gates to Tassajara open to Zen and meditation seekers, yoga lovers, and artisan foodies looking to experience a truly serene environment; eight months of the year Tassajara is closed to the general public for private Zen practice.

Nestled in a mountain valley, inland from the Big Sur coast in a remote part of the Ventana Wilderness, Tassajara has been long known as a place for self-discovery, healing and an escape from the stresses of everyday life.

In 1967, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (Founder of San Francisco Zen Center, Author of the seminal Buddhist book, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind") established Tassajara as the first Zen training monastery outside of Japan. Suzuki Roshi searched for a mountain temple similar to the monasteries in Japan, and was able to purchase Tassajara through the support of the Zen community, friends, and patrons.

Today, Tassajara is internationally recognized as the most remote Zen center in the United States and beckons as a top destination for Buddhist practitioners and vacationers alike.

Only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles via a 14-mile dirt road, Tassajara is an eco-efficient paradise garnering 100 percent of its energy from solar panels and the local hot springs. The hot springs have proven to be a main attraction of the Monterey/Salinas area following the native Esselen people's discovery of the springs in the 1870's; generations of settlers and visitors have come ever since seeking renewal and tranquility.

For the forthcoming 2013 guest season, Tassajara has a new eco-retreat center that was designed with the highest standards in green development, by architect Helen Degenhardt (JSW/D Architects); all retreats will be held in the new center. The Tassajara Program Schedule 2013 offers disciplinary retreats in the following six specialty areas, all led by some of today's leading teachers: Body Mind, Mindful Living, Spiritual Practice, Practice, Engaging Earth, and Creative Expression.

Tassajara offers a special opportunity for the general public to unplug, reconnect with themselves, and relax. Visitors soak in the hot springs, meander along the trails, savor Tassajara's celebrated vegetarian cuisine, stay in beautiful accommodations, participate in zazen (meditation), and enjoy the eclectic retreats offered by some of today's leading teachers. Tassajara invites visitors to explore the variety of ways that Zen and other complementary practices can inform and enrich one's life.

Additional information, including the 2013 guest season retreats can be viewed on www.sfzc.org/tassajara.

Source: San Francisco Zen Center

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