2:15-5:30 study / discussion group5:15-8:30 sit / service / dharma talk
Jiryu Rutchman-Byler of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center (SFZC) is the head teacher following the founding teacher, Seido Lee deBarros' stepping down in 2015. The size of the group fluctuates but is usually about 20 inmates and 4-8 outside guests. For general information on the Sangha, visit www.sqzen.org.
A typical evening involves seated meditation, walking meditation, service (chanting) and a dharma talk.
Guests are expected to have an established meditation practice, some familiarity with Buddhism, and a sensitivity and willingness to observe the protocols, attitudes, and dress code of prison chaplaincy work.
If you are interested in joining the Sangha, please fill out this form. One of the group leaders will contact you to discuss the program and your interest. If it seems like an appropriate match, we will invite you to a training and then ask for personal data (social security #, birthday, driver's license/passport #). These items will be submitted to San Quentin administration for an initial three-month security clearance, or “gate clearance,” authorizing you to enter the prison. The entire application process generally takes at least two months.