JIKOJI GUEST and PRACTITIONER POLICY
Adopted 01 June 2019 - Revised 15 August 2019
JIKOJI GUEST POLICIES
Individual Retreat Guests
Are guests who visit Jikoji for short durations and pay on a daily rate basis. Rates and terms are posted on the Jikoji website. The guest manager (shika) is not authorized to negotiate individual rates and/or terms which may only be modified by the Finance Committee with the approval of Jikoji’s Treasurer.
Group Retreat Guests
Are guests who attend a function at Jikoji as a member of a Group. Rates and terms are posted on the Jikoji website. The Shika is not authorized to negotiate group rates and/or terms which may only be modified by the Finance Committee with the approval of Jikoji’s Treasurer.
Are sesshin teachers, other ordained teachers, and guests invited or approved by the guiding teacher (or designee). Honored Guests will not be charged.
Are close friends and family members hosted by Staff or practitioners without charge for short stays.
• The host of the guest is fully responsible for their guest, including sleeping arrangements, meals, orientation, any damages, and any interpersonal issues.
• The host is responsible for promptly returning the room to a ready condition.
• A request to host a Personal Guest is made to the guest manager and subject to oversight review by the Jikoji Management Group (the “JMG”). Such requests will only be accommodated on a space available basis.
• Short stays - a maximum cumulative limit of 10 days per quarter, exceptions only on approval of the JMG.
Term Practitioners and Guests Addendum
Term Practitioners and Guests may not bring to Jikoji any items, projects, or activities deemed to be incompatible with Jikoji’s purpose and practice as determined by the JMG. Examples of incompatible items include, but are not limited to:
• personal pets, dependents, partners, friends, or relatives unless permitted as a guest.
• larger household items, furniture, etc.
• all individual property and possessions must be stored inside each person’s living quarters, and all personal property removed upon leaving Jikoji.
Is a person who has a stated intention to be at Jikoji for spiritual development in a manner that is in accordance with Buddhist traditions and practices and who, once accepted as a Term Practitioner, demonstrates a serious commitment in that regard. Each Term Practitioner is expected to pay a monthly utility fee in a timely manner. Each Term Practitioner may from time to time, be assigned special tasks, service work, and maintenance tasks. Such assignments will be made by the JMG staff (collective the “Staff”, individually, each a “Staff Member”). Most important, each Practitioner is expected to maintain harmonious social integration with other members of the Jikoji community and be a welcoming host to its guests.
Beginning on the first day of September, practice terms will occur on a quarterly basis thereafter and each practice term will be three months in length, and associated with each term is a Practice Plan and a Work Plan, the latter will be subject to review by the JMG and the former by the Guiding Teacher (or such ordained member of the sangha clergy as the Guiding Teacher shall designate, (a “Designee”). Both reviews will occur prior to the end of each practice term. A mid-term Work and Practice Plan and subsequent review may also apply for those entering or leaving Jikoji at other times of the year. A commitment to service work and maintenance of Jikoji is expected of all Practitioners. Quarterly work roles and assignments will be written by Staff and will constitute the Work Plan for that Quarter.
The Work Plan will be delivered to each Practitioner currently in residence at Jikoji beginning as of September 1, 2019. The Work Plan of each new Term Practitioner will begin on the day scheduled for their arrival at Jikoji and shall continue on the same day each quarter thereafter. Each Work Plan will be deemed accepted upon its delivery to a Term Practitioner unless the Practitioner promptly requests a modification. Any request for modification will be considered and responded to by the JMG. Performance with respect to the Work Plan will be assessed by the JMG prior to the end of each quarter.
The Practice Plan will be as agreed upon between the Practitioner and the Guiding Teacher or such Teacher’s designee. At minimum, each Practitioner is expected to participate in daily zazen practice, weekly ino assignments, engage and assist in each Sunday program, and attend one or more of Jikoji’s four annual sesshins. These minimum standards may be modified only by the Guiding Teacher. Prior to the end of each quarter, the Guiding Teacher will assess each Practitioner’s level of commitment and success in meeting the challenges of their Practice Plan.
If it is determined by either the JMG or the Guiding Teacher, in the sole and absolute discretion of either, that a Practitioner has not met the requirements of either the Work or Practice Plan, a “Notice of Termination” will be delivered to the Practitioner by the JMG which will be substantially as follows:
“We regret to inform you that you have not met the requirements of either your [Practice or Work] Plan. As a result your time at Jikoji as a Term Practitioner will end as of the date of your receipt of this notice. Please meet with a Staff Member to discuss next steps.”
Each Term Practitioner will have the right to request that the JMG extend their tenure as a Term Practitioner in spite of falling short of meeting the terms of either or both Plans. Such extension will only be granted, if the JMG determines , in its sole and absolute discretion, that there are extraordinary circumstances that explain and justify the shortfall.
The requirements for Term Practitioners are as follows:
• Make a commitment to enter into a daily Soto Zen practice life.
• Be familiar with and have a serious interest in Soto Zen practice, and be willing to live cooperatively in community.
• Compose a practice plan, and have the interest, time, and resources to meet the commitments of the practice plan.
• Commit to and have the capacity to fulfill the needed and necessary support work for Jikoji’s daily functioning.
• Agree that participation in practice terms shall not exceed one year in cumulative duration and shall be subject to a quarterly review process.
• In exceptional circumstances and with the unanimous approval of the Practice Committee, 3-month practice terms may continue beyond one year for persons who are pursuing priest ordination in the Zen tradition.
• Subject to the exceptions below, no person currently residing at Jikoji and no future Term Practitioner may remain in residency at Jikoji for more than three (3) years.
• However, after one-year from the date of vacating Jikoji, at the end of their practice term, a person may re-apply to be a Term Practitioner.
• such vacating Term Practitioner may apply for residency at Jikoji as a Term Practitioner through the application process described below. Their application will be considered in the same manner as those of all other Term Practitioner applicants applying at that time.
• Under extraordinary circumstances the JMG may elect to extend the date on which a Term Practitioner must vacate the room in which they are residing by up to 30-days, provided, the fee for continued occupancy during this 30-day period will be at the then established day rate for Individual Retreat Guests.
• The 3-year limitation on residency at Jikoji does not apply to the following: (i) The Guiding Teacher; (ii) Staff Member, and (iii) Any priest who has received Dharma transmission from the Guiding Teacher and who has been designated by a Guiding Teacher as a Designee based on having the requisite skill, competence and training to provide guidance with respect to the practice plans of Term Practitioners.
• Agree no personal property or effects will be located outside of the Term Practitioner’s room, excepting only, one bicycle which will be stored in an area designated by Staff as the bicycle storage area.
• Agree that no more than one automobile owned and/or used by a Term Practitioner may be on the Jikoji property at any time and if such vehicle becomes inoperable it must be removed within ten (10) days of notice from Staff.
• Agree that no modification of any kind may be made to a Term Practitioner’s room including repainting it, construction of partitions, and modification to any wall, window, door or ceiling without the prior written consent of Staff.
Term Practitioner Application Process
1. Submit an application via the website.
2. The application is received by the Practice Committee and the JMG.
3. If the JMG expresses no objection regarding the applicant, then a teacher may respond to an applicant as the teacher deems necessary and appropriate.
4. The applicant and the teacher will discuss the applicant’s reasons for their desire to become a Term Practitioner at Jikoji.
5. If the applicant is approved by the teacher, the teacher and the applicant will draft a practice agreement to be signed and agreed to by the applicant.
6. Staff will draft a work agreement to be signed and agreed to by the applicant. The work agreement will include a provision that the first 30-days of the applicant’s term will be a trial period. The trial period may be terminated at any time and for any reason upon notice from Staff.
7. The work agreement will include the date on which the applicant is expected to arrive at Jikoji. The term begins on that date.
Fees currently are $500/month for full-time Practitioners, or $750/month for part-time Practitioners. A “part-time” Practitioner works outside of Jikoji and a full time Practitioner does not have any outside work responsibilities. Beginning September 1, 2019, all Term Practitioners will be considered to be “part-time” and will pay fees on that basis beginning as of that date. Any Practitioner who seeks a reduced fee based on claimed “full-time” status, must establish that status claim to the satisfaction of Staff. In addition to being at Jikoji on a full time basis, a full-time Practitioner is expected to make a substantially greater work commitment as will be set forth in their Work Plan. Fees are payable in advance by the first of each month and should be transferred electronically to Jikoji’s general fund unless otherwise arranged by Staff. Cash and checks are unacceptable forms of payment.
If a Term Practitioner cannot pay their fees on time they must notify firstname.lastname@example.org describing how they will catch up, including cumulative delinquencies if any. A delinquency of $1000 or more without an explanation acceptable to the JMG will result in a notice of termination.
Jikoji Management Group Staff Members
A JMG Staff Member is a person who has demonstrated a long, mutually beneficial commitment to Jikoji. Each Staff Member has work and/or management responsibilities that exceed those of the Term Practitioners, and are reviewed annually by the non-Staff Members of the JMG. At the time of the annual review any Staff Member may be dismissed with a 60 day notice by the decision of the non-Staff Members of the JMG, with or without cause as shall be determined in their sole and absolute discretion. In other aspects of practice, a Staff Member participates in daily Soto Zen practice life and is expected to maintain the same or higher level of spiritual propriety as the Term Practitioners. Staff Members do not pay utility fees and may be granted a stipend.