Becoming a Formal Student

Since the beginning of Zen in China more than 1,500 years ago, practicing under the guidance of a teacher has been the traditional path for seekers of the Way. In today’s world of spiritual marketing and religious quick-fixes, the need for skilled guidance is as great as ever.

Why Become A Formal Student?

You should become a Formal Student at the Village Zendo if you wish to make an ongoing commitment to Zen training and to enter into a formal teacher/student relationship with Enkyo Roshi and the VZ teaching staff.

How to Become a  Formal Student

  • Attend an Introduction to Zen workshop or have equivalent experience.
  • Become a member of the Village Zendo.
  • See Enkyo Roshi in dokusan (private interview) and request permission to formally become a student and enter into training.
  • Sit tangaryo (all-day zazen) and participate in the student initiation ceremonies that follow.

Practice Recommendations for Formal Students

  • Attend at least one full sesshin (week-long meditation retreat) a year.
  • Learn to perform the liturgical functions of the Village Zendo.
  • Participate in Ango (seasonal training intensive).
  • Help to maintain and support the Zendo.

Membership Fee

Membership in the Village Zendo is required for Formal Students. The fee for Membership is $1,296 annually, which may be paid in installments of  $108 a month.  Fees are applied directly to the support of the Zendo and the abbot. Scholarships are available for Formal Students in cases of  financial hardship.

Next Steps

Entering into the teacher/student relationship is a serious commitment and should be given careful consideration. It is an intimate relationship and lasts a lifetime.

For further information, please see contact Sensei Randall Ryotan Eiger, membership coordinator, at

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