Snow Day

The Day after our Winter Retreat came to a close we woke up to an active snowfall. It has been fairly mild since the very cold week at the end of December and signs of spring were everywhere: daffodils and tulips popping up everywhere, buds and new growth on all the trees, little flowers on the umi and cherry trees, leaves bursting out on a few shrubs and trees and so on.

“Tending Clouds’

The snow this morning was very wet with slush everywhere. This late in the winter (a month to spring!) dry powder is a real rarity. But as the sky lightened it cooled down a little further and light dryer snow continued to fall.

Into the woods
Continue reading “Snow Day”

April 17th Samu Day

April Samu Days at Tahoma

Spring with all it’s fecundity means that the flora in the garden, columbarium and grounds have entered a phase of riotous growth. Without our May samu sesshin to bring many hands to the epic amount of work required your help is needed more than ever.  Over the next few months we will periodically be open on Saturdays for safe Physically Distanced samu.  We can have people wildly separated in the multiple regions that need work and we can all safely work out of doors.  We will provide refreshments to fuel our labor and strive to keep everyone safe and happy. We hope to see you here!

April 17th 9:00am, to 12:30 (PDT).
Please do not arrive overly early. Meet at the Kitchen deck and please wear your mask.
Directions to Tahoma Zen Monastery: Getting Here.

Please contact us if you have any questions: contact information.

If you can’t make it this weekend, our next samu day will be April 24th.

Tahoma Memorial Altar Book

Tahoma Alter with the newly installed Memorial Book on the left

At Roshi’s request Sokei compiled a book commemorating the sangha members who have died and whose names the densu chants as part of the Zenkai Eko after Hakuin Zenji’s Song of Zazen. I was asked to scan this book by a sangha member and having done so, have uploaded it for all to share.

Download: Tahoma Memorial Altar Book (pdf, around 95MBs)

Many thanks to Sokei for compiling the book and to Myodo for supporting the creation of the digital version.

May Practice Period Canceled

Dear One Drop Sangha and Friends, 

After further deliberation and consultation Harada Roshi has determined that it is no longer feasible to conduct our May practice period as planned.  The May 2020 practice period at Tahoma Zen Monastery is cancelled.   We look forward to training together again in September.  

Rozan Lenny Gerson
Registrar, Tahoma Zen Monastery

Tahoma Zen Monastery Temporarily Closed

Governor Jay Inslee has official put in place a ‘Stay at Home‘ order in order to try to contain the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus. Residents of the state are now required to stay at home except for essential trips. Visits to religious institutions have not been deemed essential. While our practice is essential, it is incumbent upon us to practice on our own. To sit for our own well being and the well being of others. I trust that everyone will be mindful during this time and observe the Washington State guidelines for social distancing when one is out.

This order will last for the next month at a minimum. We will continue to update here and via the mailing list as the situation develops. But for now there are no events, no public zazen and no other activities planned here through May. We will offer various events virtually as they make sense. Again this website will contain the most updated information regarding that.

From the Washington State Governors Office

Gov. Jay Inslee spoke directly to Washingtonians to announce he will sign a statewide order that requires everyone in the state to stay home. The order will last for two weeks and could be extended.

This Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is similar to orders that other governors, in places such as California and New York, issued last week.

This proclamation will:
• Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.
• Ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.
• Close all businesses except essential businesses.

“The less time we spend in public, the more lives we will save,” Inslee said. 

The proclamation states it’s still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. Grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses will remain open. People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.

Virtual Zazenkai Sunday March 22nd

This event has concluded. There were some technical difficulties that we should have ironed out for next week. Do check back then for the updated link and information. If you’d like to be notified by email with the link for a virtual event please send email to

Sunday March 22nd at 8am PST we will broadcast our Zazenkai from the Tahoma Monastery Zendo. Do please join us if you are able to. In this time of fear, worry and uncertainty it is important to sit deeply and to commune with our fellow sangha members. Caution precludes us from doing so in person, so we will host this sangha gathering via the internet.

This is the first time that we are hosting this so be prepared for some hiccups. Do download the Zoom Client for your computer or device. You can click on the Join Meeting Link below and it will walk you through installing the software. Do get yourself setup before the meeting. You can join the meeting early; you will simply wait until the host (Tahoma) starts the meeting.

All microphones will be muted by default, please keep them muted during the meeting. Due to the limitations of the internet, different connections, computer speed, bandwidth etc we cannot keep everyone in sync for chanting if everyone is broadcasting. So chant along with the densu (chant leader) and then follow the prompts from the jikijitsu (time keeper) for the rest of the service.

We have put together a PDF of the chants we are going to do at zazenkai if you would like to chant along. Along with the usual Heart Sutra and Song of Zazen we will also do Dai Sagaki chanting for the dead and dying. As usual we will conclude the service with the Four Great Vows. Download the pdf here: Zazenkai Chant Book.

The service will proceed as follows:
8am Offering of incense
Sutra Chanting: Heart Sutra, Song of Zazen, Dai Sagaki
Zazen ~20 minutes
5 minute break for Exercise, stretching, etc.
Zazen ~15 minutes
Chanting of the Four Great Vows

We will unmute the channel at the end of the service and we can chat for a few minutes before concluding. Remember to keep the channel muted throughout the service as you can be heard by everyone.

We will not be able to provide technical support during the service. Feel free to contact us afterwards if you’d like some help for the next weeks service.

This event has now ended and the connection info has been removed.

All March and April Events Canceled at Tahoma

As per Washington State and Federal guidance we are suspending all in-person events at Tahoma Zen Monastery for at least the next 6 weeks. This includes all events in March and in April. We will be continuously assessing the situation and will make determinations for events in May and beyond as the situation develops.

Maintaining our practice during this time is of utmost importance and I encourage everyone to keep sitting. Please read Roshi’s words on the importance of maintaining our practice during this crisis. As we are all seamless in the ground of being when we sit, wherever we are, we sit for all beings.  There is great power in sitting together in space and time. In this time when we must be separated in space, we can still sit together in time. In order to facilitate this we will be taking some of our activities virtual.

Zazenkai will be going virtual. By the end of this week we will be setup to broadcast this via the Zoom platform. There will be a post every Saturday with the link for this weeks Sunday 8am Broadcast. There will be more details in the initial post, but I encourage everyone to download the Zoom apps. It can be used on all the major phones, tablets and computers. Download here: Zoom Client Download Center

Selected other events will also go virtual. We will announce other events as they make sense for this format.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or if you are in need of any guidance for practicing in these troubled times: Contact Us.

As always check back frequently for updates and please join our mailing list for the most up to date information on sesshin and beyond: Mailing List

Tahoma Covid-19 Update

Island County is now reporting multiple cases of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus on the island. Washington State has forbidden all gatherings of 250 or more people in the three largest counties. ALL events are required to allow for a minimum of six (6) feet of distancing between all participants. Projections for Washington State are sobering and we expect these restrictions to encompass all of Western Washington soon along with additional more stringent restrictions.

During this next phase Tahoma will continue to offer our daily services. All attendees must maintain the mandated six (6) feet of separation between sangha members. We have a lot of space and fairly sparse attendance during the crisis so keep at least two cushions away from fellow practitioners. State guidelines recommend that those over 60 years of age avoid all gatherings and we encourage this as well. Please read our posted guidance if you have any plans to attend zazen at Tahoma.

The planned Day of Practice for the Spring Equinox (March 21st) will not go on as planned. We will add a late morning, early afternoon and extended evening periods of zazen. People are welcome to come and sit at any of these times throughout the day. During this time of crisis it is incumbent upon us to maintain a strong practice for ourself and for all beings. Thus we will offer additional periods of zazen on this day. We will however have no communal meals, nor any residency options. Practitioners over 60 years of age should consider keeping their practice at home. Sitting on our own is of immense value and we encourage everyone to dedicate extra time to this during this time. We will post a schedule of the additional sitting times early next week. Please read our posted guidance if you have any plans to attend zazen at Tahoma.

Please continue to monitor this website for updates on other upcoming events. As of now everything beyond what is listed here will continue with varying amounts of restrictions and modifications. As always updates will be posted here, but feel free to contact us with any questions.

Covid-19 (coronavirus), Tahoma and You

Washington State is the US epicenter for the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Along with the rest of Western Washington Island County has formerly declared a State of Emergency. However as of March 7th there are no confirmed cases in Island County but King County (to the south) and Snohomish County (to the east) are experiencing increasing numbers of cases. Washington remains under a general State of Emergency and recommends those over 60 years of age avoid gatherings.

As of this posting there are no plans to cancel the May sesshin. We are constantly monitoring and assessing the situation as it develops. There will be updates here and through the mailing list if anything changes.

How does this affect us at Tahoma?

At this time we will continue with our regularly morning chant and meditation service as well as our regular evening meditation. These remain open to the public but please observe the following guidelines if you wish to attend.

Tahoma Guidance

  • DO NOT come if you are feeling sick.
  • If you start to feel sick, depart at a stretch break or during kinhin (walking meditation).
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before attending. We recommend that upon entering the zendo you proceed to the bathroom and wash your hands.
  • You should wash your hands for the length of time it takes to chant (to yourself!) the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo three (3) times.
  • Wash your hands THEN use the hand sanitizer that has been placed in both bathrooms and in the gaitan.
  • Do use the hand sanitizer whenever you feel you need to.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with your elbow or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Do not shake hands or hug. We should all be comfortable with a gassho (bow).
  • Feel free to sit more widely separated. We have a lot of space, no reason not to use it.


  • We are still holding Zazenkai (community sitting) as usual at 8am on Sunday mornings.
  • We will NOT be having tea afterwards. We will resume tea after the crisis has passed.
  • Otherwise follow the guidance as above.

Other Events

Upcoming events (the March All Day Sit, Buddha’s Birthday, etc.) are currently continuing as planned, but we will asses or modify these events as conditions evolve.. We will post updates here on the website if anything changes with regard to these events.

For more information

Island County Health: Covid-19 Community Guidance.
Washington State Department of Health: Novel Coronovirus Outbreak 2020.
Federal CDC: Covid-19.

May Training Period at Tahoma Zen Monastery

As of the date of this mailing we are moving forward with our plans for the May 2020 Samu Practice Period at Tahoma Zen Monastery. Due to the fluid nature of COVID-19, our plans may change. We are closely monitoring the situation. If you plan to fly to Tahoma we encourage you to investigate trip insurance in the event of cancellation. Applicants will be notified of any changes.

The May 2020 training period at Tahoma Zen Monastery begins on Tuesday, the 5th, and concludes Friday, the 22nd. The application deadline is April 3rd.

FULL TIME RESIDENTIAL TRAINING is available May 5th – 22nd, 2020

SAMU OSESSHIN – Tuesday, May 5th – Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
Kokuho is Tuesday evening, May 5th. OSesshin, led by Harada Roshi, concludes the evening of Tuesday, May 12th. The fee is $400. Full time participation is required.
The application is here: Registration Form.

SAMU KOSESSHIN – Wednesday, May 13th – Saturday, May 15th, 2020
Kokuho is Wednesday evening, May 13th. Two day KoSesshin led by Harada Roshi, concludes the evening of Saturday May 15th. The fee is $120.
The application is here: Registration Form.

KOSESSHIN – Sunday, May 17th – Friday, May 22nd, 2020
Kokuho is Sunday evening, May 17th. Five full days of sitting led by Daichi Zenni. Part time participation is permitted. If not attending full time please provide your arrival and departure dates and approximate times. Please keep us updated of any changes. The fee for this KoSesshin is $300 or $60/day.
The application is here: Registration Form.

Daichi Zenni will lead an event at Water Moon Dojo in Seattle on Sunday, May 24th.

The application deadline for the OSesshin and both KoSesshin is Friday, April 3rd.

Acceptance emails will be sent soon after the deadline date. Please send your sesshin fee once you have been notified of your acceptance. The maximum cost for the entire month is $600. The cost of Osesshin is $400. The cost of kosesshin is $60/day.

Schedules, guidelines for conduct, and directions to the monastery can be found here,: Tahoma Zen Monastery Sesshin Information.

Temple housing is limited so we appreciate your flexibility. Any help with set up before or clean up following sesshin is greatly appreciated. There may be a wait-list for any “segment” of this month of practice. People on the wait-list will be contacted immediately as spaces become available.

Please consider that Tahoma is a communal space with no facilities for effective isolation of members who become ill. If you have a compromised immune system and are prone to infections you may be placing yourself at risk by attending. Should people become ill during the training period it may be necessary to transfer them to a local hospital.