Thank you very much for your interest in doing serious Zen training at the Zen Center Regensburg e.V.
Please read the information FIRST before applying at the bottom of the page.
This letter describes some of the conditions that we maintain in order to make a strong and focused atmosphere for doing deep, authentic meditation practice.
The Zen Center Regensburg tries, as much as possible, to give an authentic temple-experience of Zen training: We do NOT give “temple stay” experiences here, such as have become popular in Korea in the last several years.
If you are new to Zen practice, or new to our practicing style, we recommend highly that you please attend at least one or two evening Practices at the Zen Center before coming for retreat. This will help your retreat experience by familiarizing yourself with the community and with this unique practice form. If geography or time prevent you from experiencing practice here first, then we strongly recommend that you arrive at the retreat at least one or two days before the start of the retreat.
(Based on past experience, the Zen Center Regensburg discourages a “couples’ experience” retreat: If you have received special permission from the Guiding Teacher to attend retreat with a “girlfriend“/“boyfriend“ or partner, it is customary for us to request that you leave aside all communication with each other during the period of retreat, even on the rest periods. This is done to amplify your own experience of interiority for the greatest effect in your meditation work, and to prevent any friction with the rest of the group.)
Clothing, Food and Sleeping:
You will be provided with a set of simple “temple clothes,” like monks and nuns wear in Korea, so, you do not need to worry too much about bringing multiple sets of extra clothing. This will help your travel and luggage situation to be easier and lighter.
Meals are vegetarian, using locally-sourced organic ingredients (where possible), according to season. Special dietary requests (vegan, lacto-intolerant, allergies, sicknesses, etc.) should be clearly stated on your Registration Form, and you should remind the Kitchenmaster upon your arrival at ZCR.
Sleeping accommodations are traditional temple-style: a futon, on the floor, in communal rooms. Men and women sleep separately, and there are separate men’s and women’s toilets. (Unfortunately, it is usually not possible to provide a single, private room, unless there are significant reasons for requiring this.)
Our monthly 3-day retreats (and the 90-day Winter Kyol Che intensive, and the 30-day Summer Kyol Che intensive) are conducted in silence. “Silence-practice” is an extremely important aspect of the retreat- and community-experience here. Not everyone can “handle” living together in silence with other people: If you feel that keeping strict silence is impossible, or if it will create too much stress for you or the group, you should think carefully again about any wish to attend.
We ask that all retreatants abide by “digital silence” during the retreats, as well. No social-media activity: We do not appreciate guests “posting” on social media during the retreat period, and we ask that there be no SMS/WhatsApp/KakaoTalk chat connections during the period of stay in the retreat (except for emergency situations, which you should declare with the Housemaster before the retreat). If there is any social media posting during the agreed period of retreat, the retreatant might be asked to leave. Personal photography of the retreat or Zen Center during retreat is also strictly prohibited.
This is not to “limit” or “control” you, but actually to free you: We make a very quiet, deep space that you can experience almost nowhere else in a quiet city environment where you can become indescribably more intimate with your True Nature, to be in wonderful solitude while at the same time living together with lots of really interesting, funky people from diverse backgrounds and lands who all have one thing in common: “I want to wake up, attain my True Nature, and help this world.”
Application, Schedule, “The Temple Rules”
Attached, at bottom, is the Application Form. Also, we are attaching the Schedule and “The Temple Rules,” by Zen Master Seung Sahn. These “Rules” are the same as those learned by all novice nuns and monks in South Korea, except that Zen Master Seung Sahn updated them for the modern age. They are the GPS for our community life together.
Coming to ZCR:
When coming to ZCR by air, the nearest airport is Munich/Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC). Many budget flights also arrive at Nuremberg (NUE), which is even closer. There are TWO options for getting from the airport to the Zen Center:
1. Door-to-door minibus shuttle (AirportLiner): This is by far the easiest mode of transportation (though more carbo-producing), taking you FROM the arrivals terminal directly to the front door of ZCR. The seats are comfortable, there is plenty of room for luggage, and you will see some great scenery of the Bavarian countryside as you travel. But this service MUST be reserved a MINIMUM of 48 hours BEFORE arrival in MUC/NUE. The cost is 42 EUR (you usually add a 3 EUR tip to the driver, so, 45 EUR), and it must be paid in CASH Euros directly to the driver upon arrival at the front door of ZCR — credit cards are NOT acceptable. The address of the Zen Center Regensburg is as follows (you can cut and paste this into the AirportLiner’s website when they ask for your destination):
2. Bus/train: We are served by trains arriving from throughout Europe at Regensburg Hbf.
The train arrival is also relatively easy to use from the Airport. Just search for “Munich Airport, Terminal ______” to “Regensburg HBF” in the Deutsche Bahn link below. The main Regensburg station is just a 10-minute easy walk from ZCR. The train cost is approximately 30 EUR. You can Google Map the walk from train station to the Zen Center.
You can find a complete schedule here.
Training Fees, Donations
Lastly, the Training Fees do not reflect the true costs for maintaining this Zen center. We have intentionally kept prices artificially, even damagingly low in order to make the meditation experience open for as many people as possible. Your financial donations are also greatly accepted. Offerings of food, skills, or money are appreciated to help this community to survive and grow.
Yours in the Dharma,