Sesshin is an intensive Zen retreat. The formal program of our Spring sesshin begins around 4.20 am and ends at 9.30pm. The sesshin program is done mainly in silence. All participants should avoid needless communication between each other. Sesshin is an opportunity to settle into silence and meet oneself without distraction.
A formal sitting block usually consists of three 30-minute zazen periods which are separated by 10-minute walking meditation (kinhin) periods. Each 3x30 minutes sitting period is followed by breakfast/lunch/dinner/work practice/rest periods depending on the time of the day. There is also one yoga/body practice period during the day. All periods outside of formal zazen are also considered as practice, be it eating, sleeping, working or resting. Sifts of periods are announced by bells and other instruments.
Different sutras and other Buddhist texts are chanted twice a day, and a dharma talk is given by the teacher once a day.
Private student-teacher interview (dokusan) is available once a day for each participant, usually during formal zazen periods. Dokusan is an opportunity to ask questions concerning ones Zen practice.
During work periods all participants are appointed to a task, usually in cleaning or kitchen work. Housework is led by the work master and kitchen by the head cook (tenzo).
Zendo instructor (jikido) guides and oversees the mediation hall (zendo) during sitting periods and attends to general matters concerning running the daily schedule.
The sesshin ends with public dokusan, where one is encouraged to publicly share their experience and practice with the teacher and other participants. After public dokusan there is an informal communal lunch.
Registration can be found here: