Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center

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"Long known as a place of healing, the hot springs of Tassajara were first used by the native Esselen people, who lived among the soaring ridges of the Santa Lucia Mountains for a thousand years or more, appreciating the hot springs for their restorative properties. Unfortunately, the efforts of Spanish missionaries under Father Juniperro Serra proved disastrous for the Esselen, and by the time of the American Civil War, the explorers who came upon Tassajara found few traces of their earlier presence...

"When Shunryu Suzuki, the Japanese Buddhist priest who founded the San Francisco Zen Center, was first shown Tassajara in the Spring of 1966, he knew immediately that this was the place for his small but growing group of Western students to study Zen in a monastic setting. Fundraising efforts began immediately, and by July of the following year, the first Zen monastery outside of Asia was established. Since then, life has changed very little at Zenshinji (Zen Heart-Mind Temple), as Tassajara is known formally. And now, from late September until early April, 50-60 students rise before dawn and begin a full day of zazen (meditation), study, and work, following a traditional Buddhist monastic schedule which dates back over thirteen hundred years to the early Tang Dynasty in China." [1]

Rooms & Rates

Accessed May 2012: [2]

  • Creek-side Cabins - Daily Rates: $280/$330 single/double midweek; $338/$388 single/double weekends.
  • Sycamore Dorms (with shared bathroom) - Daily Rates: $95/night midweek; $115/night weekends.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center History, organizational web page, accessed May 7, 2012.
  2. Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center Rooms & Rates, organizational web page, accessed May 7, 2012.