Fall Student Training Program

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The Zen Center’s three-level Student Training Program is designed to help you deepen your practice and develop your understanding of Zen training and its application to the challenges of our personal lives, our community, and the complex issues of our times. There are three levels: “Exploration,” “Commitment,” and “Resolve.” Each level has a different set of requirements, duration, and applications to meet students where they are in their practice.

Level One, Exploration, is a one-month program for new students. If you have not already done so, you will need to meet with Shinge Roshi in dokusan and request to become her student. The emphasis of Exploration is on following basic principles of zazen, learning forms and terminology, establishing a regular practice, volunteering at the Zen Center, and working with a mentor who is a senior student at the Zen Center. Level One students will read The Dhammapada (translated by Eknath Easwaran).

Level Two, Commitment, is a six-week program for those who are students of Shinge Roshi. The emphasis at this level is on establishing or strengthening your daily practice, deepening your understanding of the forms and terminology, increasing your commitment to the Zen Center and working with a mentor. Level Two students will read The Path to Bodhidharma: The Teachings of Shodo Harada Roshi.

Level Three, Resolve, is a nine-week program for experienced practitioners who are students of Shinge Roshi, have already taken the precepts in a formal Jukai ceremony, and would like to be considered for a Teacher Training Program. Level Three students will read Not One Single Thing: A Commentary on the Platform Sutra (Shodo Harada Roshi).

Meeting dates for the Fall 2019 Student Training Program are on Tuesday evenings, from 7:10-8 p.m. The start dates and application due dates for each level of training is below; they all conclude with a ceremony on Tuesday evening, November 19.

  • Level 1 - Exploration begins Oct. 29, apply by Oct. 1st
  • Level 2 - Commitment begins Oct. 15, apply by Oct. 1st
  • Level 3 - Resolve begins Oct. 1, apply by Sept. 16th

Complete details, requirements and application forms for all three levels can be downloaded here or are available in the Zendo or Forman House foyers at the Zen Center. Individual applications for each level can also be downloaded below.

To apply, submit your completed application to Togan Tim Kohlbrenner by giving it directly to him, leaving it in the donation box in the Zendo foyer, via email, or mail to Zen Center of Syracuse, 266 W. Seneca Tnpk., Syracuse, NY 13207, attn: Togan.

2019 Student Training Program Meeting and Dokusan Schedule



Tuesday Evening




October 1



October 8


October 10

October 13


October 15


Fall Sesshin Oct 17-20


October 22


October 24



October 29






November 10

November 12

November 12

November 14



November 19


Tue, Oct 1, 2019 - 6:00pm - Tue, Nov 19, 2019 - 6:00pm
Program fee: 
2019 Student Training Program Level 1 Form.pdf201.82 KB
2019 Student Training Program Level 2 Form.pdf202.1 KB
2019 Student Training Program Level 3 Form.pdf191.84 KB