Resident Training

The Great Way is not difficult:
Just don't pick and choose.
Cut off all likes or dislikes
And it is clear like space.

Tseng Ts'an, Third Zen Patriarch
Located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge Zen Center is one of the largest urban, residential Zen training grounds in the U.S. Zen Master Seung Sahn taught us that the fastest way to change our karma and become compassionate beings is by practicing and living together. The center provides residential training opportunity in an urban environment both short and long term. Training includes practice & retreats, community work and service, outreach, sangha events, gatherings and much more to provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which to grow spiritually.

Becoming a resident at CZC offers an opportunity to commit to a spiritual practice with the support of fellow practitioners who are all going in the same direction. Zen Master Seung Sahn explains the practice of living in a Zen center much like washing potatoes. In large Zen temples in Korea where there are many nuns and monks living in the monasteries, potatoes are often washed by putting them in a large pot filled with water. The water is stirred with a stick, so that the potatoes rub each other and get cleaned all together. Living in a Zen center is like that; we get cleaned by rubbing each other, rather than cleaning each one individually. By living and practicing together, we become more compassionate and mindful of ourselves and others.

How to Become a Resident


  1. Must complete 2 retreats at CZC or another center in the KUSZ tradition.
  2. Visit CZC for regular practice and have kong-an interviews with guiding teacher.
  3. Have an interview with the Abbot or Guiding Teacher.
  4. Become a member of the KUSZ (associate or student membership does not apply to residents)
  5. Visit the Zen center for a short stay if possible.


To apply for residency, please state the following and email to the Abbot, Tom Johnson at D6F636E2E656A7567646962726D616360447F6262616.

  1. Why do you want to become a resident at CZC?
  2. List requirements fulfilled.
  3. List prior meditation and or community residential experience.
  4. Personal C.V.
  5. Two financial references.

CZC is part of the
Kwan Um
School of Zen
© 2016 Cambridge Zen Center. All rights reserved.
199 Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 576-3229