shoes outside meditation hall


The coin lost in the river is found in the river. —PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 6

Why Join in as a Member?

When you join, it helps. A lot. Thriving teachers mean a thriving Dharma, and a thriving Dharma might just mean a transformed world.

Pacific Zen Institute is a membership organization. That means that regular donations from you and all our members are the primary way we support our teachers, develop and fund programs, and pay for scholarships, rent, materials, and staff. You are how we are able to do almost everything we do.

Jesse Cardin Roshi & David Weinstein Roshi at Winter Transmission Ceremony

Members have the opportunity to work with PZI teachers on the koan curriculum. This relationship of student and teacher is of great importance in the PZI Way. Many students make a commitment to take refuge under the guidance of their teacher. Together they explore the vows as koans. PZI generally holds refuge ceremonies once a year.
Members have unlimited access to our vast KALPA library of recorded dharma talks from John Tarrant & other PZI teachers back to 1989. Members attend FREE: the Open Temple Morning meditations M-F hosted by PZI Leaders. New member classes, koan salons, and a 10 part refuge series are part of our fall offering. All events and retreats are discounted for our members. 

Member Stories

Amanda Boughton: Member since 2018

PZI is unlike anything I’ve ever met. I’d been meditating a few years before I discovered PZI, sitting with various schools. A lot of the time, my practice felt like chewing rocks and trudging through the hours…read on in Member Stories

Jordan McConnell: Member since 2015

Jordan McConnell is a guitar player, guitar builder (luthier), one-time touring musician with the Grammy and Juno award-wining band, The Duhks, and is a regular Temple Musician at PZI on Sundays and in sesshins.

Small group during a weekend retreat 2017

Steve Lucas:
Member since 2005

At first glance, PZI seems like a bit of an alternative Zen sangha, and that is partly true.

But it is also a very traditional Zen sangha, in that it is steeped in the koan tradition dating back to the Tang dynasty…read on in Member Stories

Why Else?

This is what you get:

  • Members are included on the PZI-Talk email list, our really interesting online discussion community. This is one of the ways we create a culture for transformation, through lively conversation and sharing of ideas.
  • Members have the opportunity to do regular individual work with PZI teachers, either in person or by phone or email. For more information about working individually with a teacher click here
  • Members get discounts on CDs and books and most PZI events and retreats.
  • You will receive a login for unlimited access to the KALPA – PZI’s vast archive of Dharma Talks, blog posts, articles, audio, video and transcribed files from as far back as 1989, koan related art, Sutra Service files, specific Sesshin Dharma Talks, weekly & monthly updates from online talks.
  • Coming soon podcast conversations, interviews and readings from teachers & contributors to PZI’s online Magazine of Zen & the Arts: Uncertainty Club.
  • You will find that becoming a member deepens your practice. When you make a tangible commitment, something good happens; you recognize this is a living path and it’s about you.
  • Your contribution and participation make you a part of the development of Zen for our time. Thank you.

How to Contribute as a Member

Membership Contributions

You make a regular monthly or quarterly donation or a significant yearly gift. A good guideline for membership is 1-2% of your gross income, but each person’s disposable income is different so we simply ask that you be as generous as you are able. This allows everyone, even starving artists and students, to become members of PZI. Your regular contribution makes you a member.

PZI weekend retreat, 2018

We encourage volunteers to help with tasks at PZI. Many key leadership positions are filled by volunteers. Our heads of practice, teacher liaisons, retreat registrars, dharma talk transcribers, cantor, and temple musicians are all volunteers. 

Membership Guideline
based on Annual Income:

$25,000 = $25/month
$75,000 = $75/month
$120,000 = $120/month + etc

Basic Membership
for low or fixed income: $15/month

We also offer the convenience of quarterly and annual memberships at any level. Our lowest annual membership, based on a fixed income, is $180.

Bodhidharma then and now

Ready to Join?

Current Members:
How to update your Member Account:

If you need to change anything in your recurring membership payments you can do so from a link in your most recent receipt.

Or, contact Membership Coordinator
Corey Hitchcock


To learn more, or to inquire about your current membership status, contact Corey Hitchcock at
510-524-9575 or email [email protected] 

Thank you for being part of PZI.

Pacific Zen Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all funds gifted to us are fully tax deductible.

A break during a Monday evening at Santa Rosa Zen Center, 2019