Tassajara Zen Mountain Center - Practice Period Application

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San Francisco Zen Center

TASSAJARA ZEN MOUNTAIN CENTER
Practice Period Application
Fall 2024 (September 26 - December 18 2024)
Led by Abbot Dōshin Mako Voelkel
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Practice Experience
Within SFZC
City Center


Green Gulch Farm





Outside SFZC



Precepts



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Practice Period Requirements
  • Follow the daily meditation schedule
  • Participate in daily services of bowing and chanting
  • Attend daily study hall and weekly classes and lectures
  • Participate in formal meals and ceremonies
  • Attend all Work Circles and participate in Work Practice (several hours daily)
  • Refrain from possession and use of recreational drugs and alcohol
  • Refrain from initiating any new sexual relationship(s)
  • Remain at ZMC throughout the practice period (unless in the case of a medical emergency)

Weather Considerations
Based on our experience in the past we expect the seasonal rains will bring additional challenges to the monastery. These challenges include potential flooding as well as debris flows, slides and erosion risks along the Tassajara road and throughout the valley. Due to these potential hazards, Tassajara practice period participants are required to sign a Waiver of Liability. 

The Tassajara road may be impassable at times throughout the late fall due to water run-off, fallen trees, and landslides. We strongly recommend practice period participants bring extra supplies of any personal medicines or other necessities in case supplies cannot be transported over the road for a week or more at a time. All medical and dental procedures should be taken care of before arriving for the practice period. Finally, it is also possible the heating system for cabins and communal spaces may not be consistently available due to elevated creek levels, therefore we suggest you come prepared with suitable warm clothing, bedding, and hot water bottles.

COVID RELEASE
I have voluntarily agreed to visit  Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the “Facility”) which is a practice center within the San Francisco Zen Center (“Zen Center”).

I acknowledge the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. By signing this document, I voluntarily assume all risk of exposure, infection or other adverse consequences of COVID-19 arising out of my visit, including the period in transit to and from the Facility.  I further acknowledge that the term “risk”, as used in this release, includes exposure or infection that may result in my personal injury, illness, disability, and/or death. I understand that the risk may be caused by the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, Zen Center’s or the Facility’s directors, officers, employees, teachers, residents, agents, and representatives, contractors and volunteers and visitors, and further including family members of such persons.  Accordingly, I understand and agree that this Release covers any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of any and all persons listed in the preceding sentence, whether a COVID-19 infection may manifest itself. 

I understand that this document is written to be as broad and inclusive as legally permitted by the State of California.  I agree that should any portion be held invalid or unenforceable, I will continue to be bound by the remaining terms. 

WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Visitor's Waiver

1. Voluntary Participation
I, the undersigned, am voluntarily visiting the San Francisco Zen Center's Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Carmel Valley, California ("Tassajara").

2. Inherent Risks
Tassajara is located at the bottom of a gorge area, with steep rock walls that overlook the Zen Mountain Center.  At all times, both in the immediate area of Tassajara and in the surrounding area, there is a high risk from land falls, falling rocks and boulders and, after rainfall, there is a potential of flooding and injury associated with flooding.  In addition, because only one road provides access to and from Tassajara, at any time this road could be blocked, thereby limiting evacuation, access to healthcare and other regular and emergency services. 

3. Risks from Fires and Rock Falls 
Over at least the last thirteen years, fires have occurred in Monterey County. The “Basin-Indians Fire” in 2008 and the Soberanes fire in 2016, burned many thousands of acres in Monterey County including the upper Carmel River, Arroyo Seco, San Antonio, Rat Creek, Big Sur and Little Sur watersheds and other parts of the Los Padres National Forest in which Tassajara is located. The most recent fires in the general vicinity of Tassajara were the  “Carmel Fire” and the “Dolan Fire” in 2020. Risks from future fires remain.

The site of Tassajara is located at the bottom of an active inner gorge area, with steep (nearly vertical) highly fractured rock walls, rock fall, dry ravel and deposits from previous debris flows exist. 

The County road giving access to Tassajara may be impacted by fires, debris flows, flooding, and hill failures and may be impassable after fire outbreaks and heavy rain.  As such, access to Tassajara may be cut off, making evacuation difficult.

Reports of the Carmel Fire and the Dolan Fire from 2020 can be found here:
https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/administrative-office/office-of-emergency-services/response/2020-fires
4. Assumption of Risk
I have read the above and I am aware that because of factors identified here and the incidence of fires, and COVID-19, there is currently a higher than normal risk to physical safety and life by visiting Tassajara and/or residing in Tassajara during the current period.  I am further aware that, at all times, both in the immediate area of Tassajara and in the surrounding area, there is a high risk from fire, land falls, falling rocks and boulders and, after rainfall, I am aware that there is a potential of flooding and injury associated with flooding.  I am aware that there is a risk of being exposed to or infected by COVID-19 while in transit to/from Tassajara and while at Tassajara.  I acknowledge that there is only one access road out of Tassajara and, as outlined above, this road could be blocked thereby limiting evacuation, access to healthcare and other emergency services.
5. Waiver of Liability
As consideration for being permitted by the San Francisco Zen Center to visit and use related facilities at Tassajara, I hereby agree that I, my assignees, heirs, distributees, guardians and legal representatives will not make a claim against, sue, or attach the property of San Francisco Zen Center, its employees, agents, or directors, on account of physical or mental injury, accidents, illness (including death), economic loss, or damage to personal property resulting from the negligence or other acts, howsoever caused, by any employee, agent, or contractor of the San Francisco Zen Center as a result of my presence in Tassajara and participation in the practice session at Tassajara and arising out of the risks described in this release.  I hereby release the San Francisco Zen Center from all actions, claims, or demands that I, my assignees, heirs, distributees, guardians and legal representatives now have or may hereafter have for physical or mental injury, accidents, illness (including death), economic loss, or damage to personal property resulting from my participation in the Practice Session at Tassajara and related activities and arising out of the risks described in this Release.

I further understand that this Release covers the period of my visit to Tassajara, including my residency at Tassajara and my travel to and from Tassajara related thereto.

6. Knowing and Voluntary Execution
I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS RELEASE, AND I AM SIGNING IT FREELY.  I FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT AND THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF SIGNING IT, INCLUDING (A) RELEASING THE SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER FROM ALL LIABILITY, (B) WAIVER OF MY RIGHT TO SUE THE SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER, AND (C) ASSUMPTION OF ALL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MY PRESENCE AT TASSAJARA, INCLUDING TRAVEL TO AND FROM TASSAJARA. 
Payment
The tuition fee for the full practice period is $3630, which includes room and board. The fee for the one-month option is $1530. Payment in full is required prior to your arrival at Tassajara, unless another arrangement is made in advance with the director. There is not an option to earn a practice period credit retroactively for this practice period. 

As basic operating expenses for the practice period are in excess of $4500 per student, we kindly invite those who are able to consider making an additional donation.
Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email directing you to payment options.




Application Fee
Application fee waived for SFZC residents
Application fee of $30 may be paid here. Visa/MC only. 





If you have any questions please contact the director at zmcdirector@sfzc.org