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.

Rohatsu at Tahoma Schedule

The post outlines what we will be engaging in at Tahoma Zen Monastery for the week of January 12th through the 19th. We encourage anyone interested in taking part in any of this to contact us (see the contact page). Part time attendance is perfectly acceptable and drop-in opportunities are available in the mornings, evenings and during the dharma talks. More details below.

General Overview

Rohatsu is an eight day sesshin that is thought of as one continuous day. This is in commemoration of the Buddha’s vow to sit under the Bodhi tree until awakening. In honoring this event we will engage in activities for a full eight days from Sunday the 12th through Sunday the 19th. We will sound the Han in the morning of the 12th and not sound it again until the Bodhi Ceremony on the 19th. From the 12th to the 15th we will follow our normal monastery schedule (which can be found here) but will have readings from Hakuin Ekaku Zenji’s Rohatsu Exhortations.  

At 5pm on January 15th, we will offer an option orientation for the kosesshin. There will be information useful for all attendees but would be of particular value for first timers and those who will be staying at the monastery. There will be a light meal available at this time as well.  

We will begin the kosesshin, on the 16th at 4:50am and this will continue throughout the day until around 9pm. There will be a complete schedule posted around campus and individual copies will be handed out at orientation and then made available in the kitchen. On Saturday the 18th the evening will continue until 11pm or so. Sunday the 19th we will start at 3:50am with the Bodhi Day ceremony. There will then be an informal breakfast in the kitchen and a period of cleanup. This will conclude the Rohatsu Observance but we will as alway have zazenkai at 8pm followed by an informal tea. I would encourage everyone who can to stay for this.

Rohatsu Observance Week Schedule

January 12th
4:50am – Regular morning Choka and Zazen with reading from the Rohatsu Exhortations
January 13th
6:20pm – Regular Evening Zazen with reading from the Rohatsu Exhortations
January 14th
4:50am- Regular morning Choka and Zazen
6:20pm- Regular Evening Zazen with reading from the Rohatsu Exhortations
January 15th  
4:50am – Regular morning Choka and Zazen
6:20pm – Regular Evening Zazen with reading from the Rohatsu Exhortations

Rohatsu Observance Kosesshin
January 16th  
Rohatsu Observance day 1 – 4:50am to 9:00pm
January 17th
Rohatsu Observance day 2 – 4:50am to 9:30pm
January 18th
 Rohatsu Observance day 3 – 4:50am to 11:00pm
January 19th  
Rohatsu Observance day 4 -3:50am Bodhi Ceremony Breakfast and cleanup

During the kosesshin drop-in opportunities for zazen are available from:
4:50am to 7am – morning sutras and zazen with kinhin at the hour
1:50pm to 4pm – dharma talk and zazen with kinhin at the hour
5:20 to 8:30 – three periods of zazen with kinhin at the half hour

Dharma Talk Study Material

There will be a Dharma Talk every day during the kosesshin during the 2pm to 4pm block. This is open for people to drop in if they wish. If you would like to do so, you should be seating in the zendo by 1:50. You can then leave during the 2pm Kinhin or remain for the next period of zazen until 4pm

During this retreat we are going to work with Chan Master Sheng Yen’s Shattering the Great Doubt. We are going to be working through the Ch’an approach to zazen and several other practices leading up to the Huatoa (Jp: wato) practice that is the core of this book. There will be daily talks oriented around these practices as well as an overview of the Ch’an approach with historical material describing and advocating for these practices. There will also be times where new techniques are introduced and Q&A periods for deeper investigation into our personal practice.  

Each evening we will read from Hakuin Zenji’s Rohatsu Exhortations. We will be using the Eido Shimano translation published by the Zen Studies Society. This can be purchased here:  ZSS Books.

It is not necessary to have a copy of either of these books for the retreat. If however you would like to have a copy for personal study this is encouraged. During sesshin one typically only engages in reading material related to their practices (koans for instance) or teisho.  These texts will be considered appropriate to read during this sesshin during the breaks or before the Dharma Talks.

Kosesshin Schedule

4:50amSeated in Zendo; Gosei
5:00amChoka (Sutras)
5:40amZazen; Kinhin
6:05amZazen; Zazen
Breakfast Cleanup
Nitten Soji (temple cleaning)
8:30amSamu (Clappers; meet at deck)
10:00amSamu ends (Clappers)
10:20am Seated in Zendo; Gosei
10:30amZazen; Zazen; Kinhin; Zazen;
Kitchen Cleanup
1:50pmSeated in Zendo; Gosei
2:00pmDharma Talk; Zazen; Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
4:00pmSupper (optional, informal)
5:20pmSeated in Zendo; Gosei
5:30pmUninterrupted Zazen; Kinhin;
6:30pmZazen; Zazen; Kinhin;
7:30pm Zazen; Zazen;
8:30pmKaichin in kitchen
Yaza (unstructured zazen)

On day 2, there will be another round of kinhin and zazen until around 9:30.
On day 3 there will be two more rounds of kinhin and zazen until around 11.
Day 4 begins at 3:50 seated on the cushion for choka.
Detailed schedule will be posted around the monastery.

New Years Celebration at Tahoma

Please come and join us at Tahoma Zen Monastery for our annual New Years Celebration. We will begin with a potluck in the kitchen. The Monastery will provide hot spiced cider and a dish or two. Please bring a vegetarian main, side, snacks or desert.

Then we will retire to the Zendo for a series of zazen and kinhin. You can always “sit out” a period of zazen, leaving during a stretch break or kinhin and taking a break, having a snack, or what-have-you, returning during another kinhin or stretch break.

At 11:30 we will have a short chant service and ceremony followed by the traditional 108 strikes on the temple Kansho Bell at midnight.

Do come for all or any part of the evenings activities as your schedule allows. Directions to the Monastery can be found here: Directions to Tahoma.
If you have any questions do contact us: Contact Information.

New Years Celebration Schedule
6:30pm Potluck in the kitchen
7:30pm cleanup
8:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin
9:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin
10:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin
11:00pm Zazen;
11:30pm New Years Chanting
12:00am Bell Ringing

A Practice of Giving

In this season of giving it is a valuable reminder that dana is a core part of our practice. Of course it is a practice we engage in throughout the year, but these special events and seasonal reminders bring this practice into greater clarity. As you consider the myriad opportunities to participate in this practice it is worth remembering that Tahoma Monastery exists entirely on donations. Donations may be made in person at Tahoma Zen Monastery and cheques can be mailed to the monastery.  Make cheques out to:

ODZA (One Drop Zendo Association) and mail to:

Tahoma Zen Monastery
6499 Wahl Road
Freeland, WA 98249

Donations can also be made online as a one time payment or as a recurring monthly payment. PayPal and all major credit cards are accepted (PayPal account not required).

February 2020 OSesshin

The February 2020 training period at Tahoma Zen Monastery will consist of an OSesshin led by Shodo Harada Roshi.     

OSESSHIN: February 5th  – February 12th, 2020
Kokuho is Wednesday evening, February 5th.  Osesshin concludes the evening of Wednesday, February 12th.  Full time participation is required.  

The application deadline is Sunday, December 29th.  Acceptance emails will be sent soon after the first of the year.  Please send your Osesshin fee once you have been notified of your acceptance.  The cost of Osesshin is $400. 

The application is here: sesshin application

Schedules, guidelines for conduct, and directions to the monastery can be found on the Sesshin page

Please consider arriving a day early to help with set up or staying a day after to assist with clean up.  Any help you can provide towards this effort would be greatly appreciated.  Temple housing is limited and we appreciate your flexibility.  There may be a wait-list. People on the wait-list will be contacted immediately as spaces become available.

One Drop Zendo Los Angeles: February 13th – February 15th, 2020
Kokuho is Thursday evening.  Space is limited and you must be registered to attend.  For further information, please contact Jikun