Sesshin, a Zen Retreat
A sesshin is a period of intense traditional Zen training. A typical sesshin at the Clear Water Zen Center begins on a Wednesday evening and continues until the following Sunday afternoon. Dokusan (private interview with the teacher) is typically offered three times per day.
A sesshin can be a challenge. There are roughly 10 hours of formal sitting per day, with breaks for three meals, a work period for cleaning the zendo and surrounding grounds, a formal exercise period, and several rest periods. All of these activities are as valuable as sitting meditation; Zen practice teaches us how to be always mindful. We don't "take a break" from our practice when we leave the zendo for the breakfast table, or for any other reason.
Noble silence is maintained throughout the sesshin.
Any participant would call sesshin a remarkable experience. Many have said a sesshin changed their lives. After their first sesshin, many people start attending as many sesshins as possible. Long-time students have developed more resonant voices, fluid movements, experienced increased responsive to people, animals, and nature, and everything around them. They become more decisive, worry less, and laugh more. Sesshin is hard but worth it.
Click here to print a Sesshin Application, Long Form if this is your first sesshin or your information has changed since your previous sesshin. Please attach a completed Medical Information Form to the application. Submit a Sesshin Application, Short Form if your information has not changed since your last sesshin. If using the short form, you need not attach a Medical Information Form if you have one on file with Sensei and there have been no changes in your medical information since the previous sesshin attended by you.
To find out more about the sesshin, please contact us.