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Sesshin at Great Tree

Sesshins and retreats begin on Fridays and last from 2 to 5 days (see our EVENTS CALENDAR for dates).   In-person participation is limited so please register early. You may also participate on zoom.

Sesshin (Japanese for “collecting the heart-mind”) is an intensive meditation retreat. Great Tree sesshins typically lasts from two to five days. Sesshin participants are asked follow the schedule and take part in all sesshin activities.  If you have physical or dietary restrictions please email


Sesshin includes:

  • Zazen (meditation)

  • Work (please bring clothing suitable for working outdoors and kitchen duties)

  • Optional dokusan (private interview with the teacher)

  • At Gyohatsu (formal meals) we use use oryoki bowls. Please watch the video linked here before arriving at Great Tree.  Further instruction will be given at the first meal.


Please arrive at the temple by 4pm.  The schedule begins with orientation and instruction, followed by a light meal and tea. 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  to confirm that space available. Those who are unable to attend the full retreat must speak with the abbess before registering.

Practice events at Great Tree are by donation. If you are unable to pay the full suggested fee please contact us at to make payment arrangements or request a scholarship. No one will be turned away from a Great Tree practice event due to lack of funds.

Great Tree’s ability to continue to offer these programs and keep them available to everyone depends upon the generosity of our community. Please consider donating to our scholarship fund if you are able. Thank you.

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