Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dojo Closed in July

The Dust Bowl Dojo is closed through July. We will begin our group practice again in August.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rohatsu Zen Retreat - December 7-8, 2018

Registration is Now Open

Register on the Event Registration page:

Event Registration


Rohatsu, or Bodhi Day, is celebrated every year around the world on December 8 to commemorate the day that Siddhartha Gautama experienced enlightenment.

In Zen, we celebrate during sesshin, a retreat offering intensive practice of zazen (sitting concentration), kinhin (walking concentration), and samu (work practice).

Sesshin literally means "touch the mind." This retreat is an excellent opportunity to experience true Zen practice, whether you are a long-time practitioner or just beginning.

We will  meet in the Center for Spiritual Living, housed in a beautiful and historic old brownstone in downtown Bakersfield.

Included with Your Registration

  • Zen introduction for beginners
  • Intensive Zen meditation
  • Mondo question and answer
  • Qi gong led by an experienced practitioner
  • Friday introduction dinner
  • Saturday breakfast and lunch
Those without prior experience are welcome! Note, however, that some beginners may find the rigors of Zen practice intense. For this reason, if you are new to practice, we ask that you email the director from the Contact page to inquire further. Also consider attending one of our regularly scheduled morning sessions to experience zazen before the sesshin.

Date, Time, Location

Center for Spiritual Living
Bakersfield, California (map provided to registrants)
Friday, December 7: 6 pm - 9 pm
Saturday, December 9: 6 am - 5 pm

Registration Options

Now - Nov. 30 Online Earlybird: Standard $50; Member: $45 Student: $40. Contact us with your registration request, and we will email you the easy PayPal invoice.

Dec. 1 - 6 General: Standard $55; Member $50; Student $45. Contact us with your registration request, and we will email you the easy PayPal invoice.

Dec. 7 or 8 Day-Of: There may still be space! Contact us beforehand to confirm. Cash, check, or card: Standard $60; Member $55; Student $50. One-day Saturday attendees are welcome (same cost)
    We look forward to practicing with you!

    Friday, October 5, 2018

    Abandoning the Ego

    “Abandoning the ego is not sacrifice. Abandoning the ego means: receive everything. It is gain for the self and total gift for others. The two things remain inseparable.” - Master Taisen Deshimaru

    The Way of True Zen. American Zen Association, 2002. (Available from the Dust Bowl Dojo Shop. Message to inquire about purchase.)
    Close-up of Mokugyo by @zentokujoshin.

    Contact us if you would like to benefit from meditation class instruction in Bakersfield.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018


    “We concentrate on only posture and breathing. We don’t have to figure out or think about Zen. Quiet the mind, and then things will come if we don’t run or grasp. Just sit quietly.” - Robert Livingston Roshi

    Kusen: Oral Teaching, volume 2. American Zen Association, 1997.
    Zafu and Rakusu by @zentokujoshin.

    All are welcome for meditation class at the Dust Bowl Dojo. See our "Contact" page for details, and let us know if you plan on attending.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2018

    Interfaith Gathering

    Thank you to Bakersfield Interfaith for organizing Saturday’s 21st Annual Bakersfield Interfaith Conference at CSUB, a tribute to Mahatma Ghandi celebrating his 150th birthday. The morning’s topic was, “Who is God? Is your God the same as my God?” What’s a Zen practitioner say to that?! I came up with something.
    Discussing and sharing leads to more understanding. (L-R Dr. Shana Huq, Gary Enns of Zen Fellowship, Dr. Anil Mehta, Msgr. Perry Kavookjian, Dr. Bharati Shah.)

    Join Zen Fellowship any Saturday for zazen (Zen meditation) instruction and practice in Bakersfield, California.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2018

    Kusen by Robert Livingston

    Some editing time. Kusen by Robert Livingston Roshi.

    Bakersfield residents, join us for Zen meditation any Saturday morning. See our Contact page for times, directions, and other matters. To meditate in the Zen tradition is not difficult, but neither is it easy. It takes effort. One must experience it. The Zen Fellowship has created a space for Bakersfield locals to experience and practice Zen meditation.

    Sunday, September 23, 2018

    Your Own Mind Is the Buddha

    “As long as you look for a buddha somewhere else, you’ll never see that your own mind is the buddha.” - Bodhidharma
    “Bloodstream Sermon.” The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Translated by Red Pine. North Point Press, 1987.
    Photo and layout by @zentokujoshin.

    All Bakersfield and Kern County residents are welcome to come learn to meditate in the Zen tradition. (Bakersfield Meditation, Meditate Bakersfield, Meditation Bakersfield, Zen Bakersfield)