Sesshin at Great Tree

Cultivating the Lotus

Cultivating the flower of wisdom and compassion requires us to reach deep into muddy waters.  In order to see clearly to the root of all things we must also access the stillness that will allow the mud to settle and the those waters to clear.

A sesshin (Japanese for “collecting the heart-mind”) is an intensive meditation retreat.  A sesshin typically lasts from two to seven days. During sesshin,  most of the time is devoted to meditation, and distraction is reduced.   Participants are asked keep silence , as much as possible, throughout the sesshin and to maintain a meditative focus throughout.  We follow a semi-monastic schedule during sesshin based on Soto traditions dating back to the time of Dogen Zenji, the founder of this school of Zen.

The schedule includes:

  • Zazen (sitting meditation)
  • Kinhin (walking meditation)
  • Mindful work in the kitchen, building or grounds
  • Participants are asked to share kitchen duties, cooking or clean-up
  • Dokusan (private interview with the teacher).

Basic Schedule for Sesshins

2018  Sesshin –  Register at Book Online

April 6 - 8, 2018The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts Led by Rev. Chimyo Atkinson Those who are receiving the Precepts during the April 8th ceremony and have finished sewing their rakusu are required to attend this sesshin. All participants are welcome to stay for the precepts ceremony on Sunday at 3pm.
May 4-9Openess Vast As the Sky Led by Rev. Teijo Munnich.
June 8-12Always Beginning Led by Rev. Chimyo Atkinson
July 6-8Fireworks In Zen Practice Led by Rev. Teijo Munnich
August 14-19Special Women's Sesshin led by Guest Teacher Rev. Tenku Ruff
October 5-7Being Present Together: An Open-sitting Retreat - led by Rev. Teijo Munnich
November 2-7Bodhisattvas Led by Rev. Chimyo Atkinson
November 30 - December 5Rohatsu Sesshin - Buddha's Enlightenment: What Did the Buddha Awaken To? Led by Rev. Teijo Munnich. Buddha's Enlightenment is traditionally celebrated on December 8th. In the Zen tradition Rohatsu, a 7-day meditation retreat leads up to this important date.
December 28-31New Year's Sesshin Led by Rev. Teijo Munnich. Close out the year with a few days of quiet reflection.

Please arrive by 4pm. We ask that everyone begin together.  The schedule begins at 5pm with orientation and instruction, followed by a light meal and tea at around 6pm.   Subsequent days begin at 6am and end at 9:30pm.   The sesshin ends at noon  on the last day.  If you plan to arrive early or extend your stay beyond  the scheduled event,  contact us  to confirm that space available.  Those who are unable to attend the full retreat must speak with the abbess before registering.

To register by check. Click the link below, then click again to download a pdf, print it and send it in with your deposit or fee.

Personal Information Form


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