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30 Days of Zen: July 1-30, 2022 – Registration Closed

30 Days of Zen – Registration Closed

Deepen your practice through 30 days of Zen training including daily meditation, sangha support, teachings from past Zen Masters, and guidance from Henry Shukman, Valerie Forstman, and current leaders in Sanbo Zen.

Even if all of the innumerable buddhas in the entire universe combined their efforts and attempted to measure the merit of one person’s zazen [zen meditation], they could never fathom it.  ~ from Dogen’s Talk on Wholehearted Practice of the Way

If you’ve wanted to get on track with a steady meditation practice, tryout the Zen path, or engage more deeply with sangha, this is for you. We’re here to help through:

  • Guidance from Henry Shukman and Valerie Forstman (details forthcoming)
  • Daily encouragement, teachings, and practice tips
  • Your daily practice: meditation and journaling
  • Your weekly practice: weekly meetings with your cohort, including Q&A with Zen Teacher Valerie Forstman, Assistant Teacher Scott Thornton, and Senior Sanbo Zen Students Shana Smith and Lisa Lincoln

This program answers a call from our community to make the path of Zen training accessible online, both for those deep on the path, and those curious to try it out. We’ve designed a program that effectively embodies the Three Treasures of Zen practice (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha), the lay practice orientation of Sanbo Zen, and the lens of wonder and compassion that Henry Shukman and Valerie Forstman bring to all we do here at Mountain Cloud.

Course Information – How it Works 

  • 30 Day Kick-Off event, Friday July 1st @6:30pm MT will feature a talk from Henry Shukman & will be recorded for those who cannot attend
  • Daily practice July 1- July 30  can be done on your own schedule, or with a larger group on Zoom Mondays-Fridays 7-8am MT and 5:30-6:30pm MT, Saturdays 7-8am MT, and Sundays from 9-10am MT
  • Discussion Groups with Q&A will take place Sundays July 3, 10, 17, & 24 @ 10am MT 
  • Close-Out Celebration Saturday July 30th @8am MT will be recorded for those who cannot attend
  • Due to the nature of this event, registration closes on July 1. This event is popular we may do it again!

Zoom. Henry and Valerie’s talks and Q&As will be recorded and shared for those unable to participate live.


Guidance from Henry Shukman and Valerie Forstman

  • Consistency is key in developing and deepening a meditation practice, and Henry and Valerie are here to encourage us. Henry will provide talks at key moments in our 30 day journey, including our Kick-Off event and Closing Celebration. Valerie will provide us encouragement along the way during Q&A sessions.

Daily encouragement, teachings, and practice tips 

  • Every day you will receive a message that includes a brief teaching from the Zen cannon and a practical practice tip, to inspire meditators at any experience level. This series of messages has been curated to support, encourage, and deepen your practice over the course of these 30 days. The teachings have been specially chosen to give you a taste of the freedom, compassion, and wonder of Zen, while the practice tips provide practical strategies for your meditation.

Your daily practice: meditation and journaling

  • If your schedule allows, we encourage you to join the larger group on Zoom for your daily sitting. You can choose when – and for how long – you will meditate each day.

  • The daily journal is an optional, easy, and deeply encouraged part of this program to help us develop the “thread that deepens and builds, this through-thread, this value of continuous practice” (Valerie Forstman on the 30 Days of Zen program).  We have set up a daily message board where everybody is encouraged to post a brief report of the day’s meditation experience, and to check in on what others have shared. This “report out” process is a powerful opportunity to demystify and shed our delusions about this practice, to appreciate its inherent variety, and build resilience through comradery.

Your weekly practice: weekly meetings with your cohort, including Q&A with Zen Teachers and Senior Sanbo Zen Students

  • Each week, we will gather on Zoom to connect with one another, and receive direct guidance on our sitting. These meetings include a small group portion, in which you will join a small group for open discussion and sharing, and a Q&A portion, in which you will pose questions to our amazing team of experienced Sanbo Zen leaders. Each of our Q&A panels offer a unique voice, experience, and perspective within our shared Zen path. The roster includes Zen Teacher Valerie Forstman, Assistant Zen Teacher Scott Thornton, and Senior Sanbo Zen Students Shana Smith, and longtime Intro to Zen Meditation facilitator, Lisa Lincoln.

What you’ll receive:

  • Virtual “Kick Off” event Friday July 1 @ 6:30pm MT with talk from Henry
  • A curated series of daily teachings from Zen Masters through the ages
  • Daily encouragement and practice tips
  • Access to a daily meditation journal shared by your cohort
  • Opportunities to meditate with groups online, 1 to 2 times a day (Mon-Sat 7-8am MT & 5:30-6:30pm MT, and Sun 9-10am MT)
  • Weekly live meetings to connect with your cohort and check in with one of our experienced Senior Sanbo Zen Students and Assistant Sanbo Zen Teachers, as well as Zen Teacher Valerie Forstman. Sundays July 3, 10, 17, & 24 @ 10am MT
  • Close Out Celebration with talk

Your Investment:

  • Intention to meditate daily for 30 days
  • $99 *
  • $198 (This benefactor amount covers your registration & a scholarship recipient)

*Full scholarships are available. Contact Sarah for details.


Scott Thornton is an Assistant Teacher in the Sanbo Zen lineage. He has been a student of Ruben Habito Roshi for 22 years at The Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, TX, and soon will be moving to Santa Fe to practice at Mountain Cloud and to direct its Residents Program.  He has been a Clinical Psychologist for 34 years. His first career was in Theater, and he is still an active singer/songwriter and performer.


Shana Smith discovered yoga in 1990 and began attending regular classes in several different styles of yoga After several years of ardent practice and study, she began to teach at her local studio and Yoga Temple.  Shana became interested in the sensations and insights she experienced in Savasana, which led her to begin a regular meditation practice and in 2007 took refuge in the Sanbo Zen Lineage, in which she is now a senior student.  She is also a member of the Florida Community of Mindfulness, and has taken the Bodhisattva Vows. Over the years, she has found a tremendous synergy between Yoga and Zen, and integrates the two in her daily, committed practice.

Lisa Lincoln is an avid meditator who started sitting at the age of 16 when her father asked her to try out meditation for stress relief. After years of trying to maintain her practice, she discovered Mountain Cloud, became a student of Henry Shukman (and then Valerie Forstman as well) and felt she had found her home. Lisa has a passion for teaching. She works as a voice and theater teacher. Lisa writes, “I feel blessed to be able to teach the Introduction to Meditation Class with all the wonderful teachers at Mountain Cloud and share the life-changing gift of meditation and mindfulness with the students.”

If you have questions about this program or are interested in financial support, contact Sarah.

Registration is Closed.  Thank you for your participation. If you missed signing up, join us for our free. daily online sits.  Schedule is here.

Photo by Susanna Marsiglia on Unsplash

July 1, 2022
July 30, 2022
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