Immerse in Zen; keep your day job.

Our Residency Program is for every-day practitioners, seeking to deepen their relationship to practice.

Mountain Cloud is now accepting applications for its Residency Program. We are located in a beautiful setting on the edge of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We have a lovely adobe zendo for sitting and many outdoor paths for walking and contemplating. We have authentic Zen Masters as guiding teachers as well as an Assistant Sanbo Zen Teacher Scott Thornton managing our program.

Our program embodies the belief that awakening is for everybody, for this very world as we live it day to day. We don’t leave ordinary life to attain insight but rather embrace it more deeply. So, we’ve designed the residency to be simple, accessible to a range of experience levels, and structured to enable practitioners to continue their work or extracurricular life while deepening their Zen practice.

The residency provides an immersive Zen experience that includes:

  • A regular morning schedule:
    • an hour of zazen (sitting meditation) each morning
    • work practice/temple duties
  • Participation in all scheduled events, such as the weekly dharma talks, zazenkai and retreats
  • Regular private interviews for practice guidance with Assistant Sanbo Zen Teacher Scott Thornton
  • Ample free time for remote work, personal projects and community. Residents are encouraged to enjoy MCZC’s idyllic backdrop of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico.

Think of our residency in terms of the Three Treasures of Zen….

BUDDHA (practice)

  • 24 hour access to our beautiful adobe zendo and hiking trails through 20+ acres of high desert landscape
  • Attend retreats and zazenkai at no additional cost
  • opportunity to touch into “beginner’s mind” during Sunday Intro Classes

DHARMA (teaching)

  • Attend weekly teishos, Wisdom Wednesdays and dokusan, live
  • Regular 1-1 practice guidance from Scott Thornton, Assistant Sanbo Zen Teacher and director of this program.
  • Enjoy our rich library of dharma books

SANGHA (community)

  • Meditate with Sangha during daily zazen schedule
  • Attend book-study, tea-times, and other workshops with sangha

How it Works

The minimum length of stay is one month, which may begin at any time. The first 30 days shall be considered a trial period, during which time the resident and Program Director will regularly evaluate goodness-of-fit. While there is no hard cap on the duration of a residency, all participants must reapply with the Program Manager every three months. It is also generally understood that residencies lasting more than a year will be atypical.

If you are interested in joining us, you will apply using the form at the bottom of this page and choose a lodging preference. Then our Program Director will reach out for an interview.

A day in the life of a Resident

  • 7:00 – 8:00am – Zazen with Sangha
  • 9:00 – 9:30am – Residency Meeting 
  • 9:30 – 11:00am- Residency Activities such as:
    • book-study group with sangha
    • work-practice
    • meeting with the teacher
  • 11:00am on – Personal Time 
  • 5:30 – 6:30pm – Optional evening zazen/dharma talk  


Residents are expected to participate in the morning schedule together from 7-11am– with some flexibility. The rest of resident’s time is self directed, though we encourage participation in all Mountain Cloud activities. Some residents have gotten jobs in town or used common areas in the zendo to do remote work.

The weekly schedule includes morning and evening sitting Monday through Friday, morning sitting Saturdays and Sundays, a workshop every Wednesday evening, a dharma talk every Thursday evening, and an “Intro Class” on Sunday mornings.

On a monthly basis, Mountain Cloud hosts additional events such as Sangha Samu (Work Practice) Days, SocialiZen (a peer learning study group), and volunteering to cook and serve meals at our local homeless shelter. Check out our monthly schedule to see if your residency will overlap with any of of those, or our zazenkai (daylongs) and retreats!


  • Residents provide their own food.
  • Residents must have their own transportation. The Zen Center is a 15 minute drive from public transportation and town.
  • MCZC provides some basic housekeeping, supplies, and foodstuffs like tea and pantry items.
  • As with all MCZC offerings, the residency program will operate in accordance with the organization’s equity and inclusion principles and COVID-19 Protocols.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some moments in the life of residents.



Cabin:  $1275 a month. Cabins are rustic, heated and surrounded by piñon and juniper trees. Each cabin sleeps up to four, but residents will have a cabin to themselves unless they are doing the residency as a couple. The cabins do not have an attached bathroom. You will need to walk to the nearby main building for a bathroom and shower.

Cottage room

Cottage: The cottage is our most recent structure and offers single and double rooms. Cost is $1325 per month for single occupancy. Residents will stay in their own room in the cottage. Shared bathrooms are on the main level.

Cottage, kitchenette

The cottage also has small kitchenette (no stove) for guest use.

Fill out the application below if you you would like to be considered for residency at Mountain Cloud. The program manager Scott will contact you, most likely via email, and will arrange a personal interview. Please understand this residency program is an intensive experience, not appropriate for those in acute crisis.

Residency Application

  • Enter start and end dates or, if you aren’t sure, tell us generally when you’d like to come and for how long.
    Although there is personal time during our program for some amount of work, we have found that working a job during residency is challenging. It tends to distract from the immersive Zen experience. If you do have a remote job, please discuss the circumstances with Scott during your interview.
    We require that you have transportation, preferably an automobile, while you are here. We don’t provide transportation for shopping or other outings.

Images by Mark Paul Petrick

footer support banner image

Support Mountain Cloud

You can show your gratitude for Mountain Cloud events, retreats, podcasts and other teachings by making a one-time gift, or by becoming a supporting member.

Donate to Mountain Cloud Become a Member