Visiting Students Program

What is the Visiting Students Program?

Sarah is our Resident Manager and has been living at Mountain Cloud since 2017.

Mountain Cloud’s Visiting Students Program offers meditation practitioners the chance to dive deeply into the living dharma through daily sits, samu work practice and community participation. We are looking for people (of all ages – we are all Zen students) with an existing meditation practice interested in joining in the life of the center for a minimum of four weeks. If you do not have an existing practice, you must have a commitment to learning the practice while applying it to all aspects of day to day living.

Mountain Cloud supports visiting students in different ways depending on their goals and experience with Zen Meditation. We provide a range of program elements and training supports to augment and individualize each student’s experience, based on discussion with program leaders.

The program is designed to…

  • deepen the practice of long-time practitioners or support new sitters as they gain practice experience.
  • sustain engagement in zen practice beyond the cushion through community, work, and lifestyle.
  • facilitate the process of self reflection and discovery.

The visiting student experience enriches practitioner lives in a variety of ways…

  • jump start or deepen practice through consistent sitting with others
  • receive direct support through instruction, teachings, mentorship, and community
  • experience mindfulness as a lifestyle beyond meditation
  • be valued not for your accomplishment or skill, but for being you, here, now!
  • create spaciousness for personal reflection, insight, and discovery

On a daily basis, visiting students  will participate in an hour of both morning and evening meditation (more if wanted), a community breakfast, three hours of work practice (or more to reduce program cost), and a community lunch. Click here for the daily schedule.

Visiting students need maturity and the ability to commit to a minimum four week stay. Personal qualities required include…

  • Mental and emotional stability
  • Flexible attitude and willingness to follow instructions
  • Adaptability to changing situations
  • Comfortable working, living and practicing with limited privacy and space, in close proximity with a small community of diverse individuals
  • Financial resources to maintain your stay and sustain personal needs – Click here for pricing

Our program offers a Mentorship component. Interested students may be paired with a mentor based on common interest to meet with once a week about meditation practice.

Suggested Readings
Mindfulness In Plain English, by Henepola Gunaratana
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki
The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

If you have questions about becoming a Visiting Student at Mountain Cloud, please contact Sarah, our Program Manager facilities@mountaincloud.org.

To get started, please fill out the application below. Once you’ve done so, you will receive an interview to determine compatibility and, if accepted,  you will work one-on-one with program leaders to design a program suited to your specific needs.

Visiting Student Application

Please answer the following questions to best describe how you honestly feel, now. Your answers will help us work with you to individualize the program to meet you where you are.
  • If you don't have meditation experience, describe your interest in meditation practice.
  • How would you like this experience to support your personal growth and development?
  • For example, do you anticipate any internal or external challenges?
  • Samu activities include cleaning, sweeping, gardening, which may include some lifting.
  • Enter start and end dates or, if you aren't sure, tell us generally when you'd like to come and for how long.
    Depending on when you come, we may have a weekend Intro Retreat or a 6-7 day sesshin.
    Since our program is part-time, some students have jobs outside of the program hours.
  • Morning program hours are M-F 7am-12:30 and evening sitting practice is approximately M-Th 5:30-7:30pm, depending on the day.
    Additional work practice reduces the cost of the residency.
    This is a self guided exploration supported by MCZC that deepens your engagement with the land, the practice, and/or community living & craft.
    For example: car, bike, Lyft
  • Lodging and Pricing

    Your selection of lodging and the number of hours you choose to work each day impacts the price you pay. Three hours of daily work practice is $250 a week or $850 a month. Five hours of daily work practice is $150 a week or $500 a month. Staying in a cottage single room, add an extra $150 per week or $500 per month. Sharing a room in the cottage or staying in a loft, add an extra $75 per week or $250 per month.

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