Residential Practice at BLMZC

Practice on the Path of Service

The zendo, our meditation spaceAt Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community we practice together on the Path of Service. Living and working together in residency is an option for people willing to make a commitment to contemplative social action. Our residential practice community is dedicated to making a tangible difference in society, especially in areas where there is observable suffering. We approach these situations with the Zen Three Tenets: Embracing Uncertainty, Bearing Witness, and Healing Action.

Life as a Resident

As a resident, you’ll immerse yourself in Zen temple training, enjoy a structured daily schedule, and engage in meaningful community service. Our work practice involves direct interaction with those dealing with poverty, mental health issues, addiction, trauma, and isolation. The path of service is explored through Dharma teachings, anchored in daily zazen (sitting meditation), and nurtured by guidance from our lead teacher and the support of our vibrant sangha (community).

The Residency Program offers a variety of enriching experiences, including:

  • personalized spiritual guidance sessions with the Guiding Teacher and seasoned practitioners;
  • collaborative efforts at our community living room called Gather, focusing on creating connections with those who feel marginalized or forgotten;
  • monthly special events and quarterly silent retreats that add depth to your spiritual journey;
  • regular meditation sessions for cultivating stability, mindfulness, receptivity, and presence; and
  • training in chanting practices and temple roles to hone the heart-mind and strengthen your bond with Zen traditions.


As a resident, you’ll be part of both our residential and local communities, supported by like-minded individuals. The breathtaking natural landscape surrounding us provides ample opportunities for hiking and outdoor exploration. Our serene setting, amidst extensive trails, offers a peaceful haven for reflection and inspiration.

The residency includes a discernment period, giving you the opportunity to consider a longer commitment to this transformative practice.

Next Steps

We request a monthly contribution of $350 towards our communal budget, covering housing, most meals, and program participation. Thanks to our benefactors, we maintain affordability for all, regardless of financial status or ability to make an offering. Flexible arrangements are available for residents needing to work part-time locally. For those employed, contributions may be adjusted up to $500 based on income and financial circumstances.

A minimum two-month commitment is required, with a readiness to actively contribute to the broader community.

For more details on the Residency Program and application process, reach out to Joshin Byrnes, at Discover the impact you can make in the world and in your own life.