daishu-in West
大珠院 ウェスト


Ango Residency Program

About the Program

Daishu-in West is offering a sponsored residency program that gives younger practitioners (~ages 20 to 29) the opportunity to develop and deepen their spiritual practice in an environment tailored for it. Daishu-in West is sponsoring the program for participants who display the aptitude and commitment to practice. The program includes all meals and lodging. Accepting applicants for the first class, which runs February 7, 2023 through May 7, 2023 now. Application details below.

Daishu-in West

Features

Designed for both novices and those with some meditation experience, the Daishu-in West residency program aligns with a well-established Zen tradition of study periods or Ango. The program, designed to provide participants an experience as a Zen novice, runs for three months every spring and fall. The duration gives students the opportunity to absorb a Zen temple lifestyle and deepen their practice. Features include:

  • Structured daily meditative practice modeled on the Rinzai Zen monastic tradition in a simple, direct daily program of meditation, work and study.
  • Guidance from Daishu-in West priest Shaku Kojyu and the larger temple community.
  • Simple lifestyle and full participation in a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastic program.
  • The program includes daily sutra-chanting, study, seated meditation, cleaning, cooking and study with monthly practice periods known as sesshins, with more intense attention on practice.

How to Apply

This training will be rigorous and intense, and, in line with the traditional Japanese Zen monastic structure. Serious applicants only. The Daishu-in West board of directors will carefully vet applicants and only select candidates who are committed and ready for participation. If interested, send a 400-word cover letter and a link to a two-minute video to ango@daishuinwest.org with the subject line “DSW Residency” explaining why you would like to participate in this program. Application deadline is October 11, 2022. Selections made by October 25, 2022.

About Daishu-in West

Founded in 1997, Daishu-in West is a branch of the Rinzai Zen temple Daishu-in in Kyoto, Japan. The temple, which includes a ceremonial building and a meditation hall built using traditional Japanese joinery and design, is a formal member of the Myoshin-ji branch of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism. Located on 40 acres of mountainous terrain, it runs exclusively on solar energy and spring water, and provides a simple environment designed to support and deepen Zen practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Participants will begin their day with early morning sutra-chanting (in Romanized Japanese), followed by a traditional Japanese Zen breakfast of rice gruel, daily work (maintaining temple grounds), study, dinner and bath and then evening meditation. The below schedule is a sample of the daily program (subject to change slightly):

  • 4:30am Sutras
  • 5-7am Meditation
  • 7-7:30am Breakfast
  • 7:30-11:30am Work (includes temple maintenance, cooking, etc.)
  • 11:30-noon Lunch and Rest
  • 1:30-4pm Work and/or Study
  • 4-5pm Dinner + Bath
  • 6-8:30pm Meditation

The Japanese Zen monastic tradition includes a carefully crafted structure designed to facilitate a deep, harmonious environment that highlights the state of our state of mind. To create this environment, a disciplined structure is applied, that challenges our individual desires and habits and forces us to confront reality as it is, regardless of our opinions of it.

Rinzai is one of the two main sects of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Soto is the more prevalent version in America. The two are similar, yet have some differences in form, such as in Rinzai practitioners sit facing the room, whereas in Soto practitioners sit facing the wall. Other differences exist, too, of course.

Read "Novice to Master" by Soko Morinaga Roshi, the Japanese Zen master who founded Daishu-in West, in partnership with his disciples Ursula Jarand and Venerable Shaku Daijo. You can email the Daishu-in West priest Shaku Kojyu at contact@daishuinwest.org to set up a short phone call to answer any questions before applying.