December 2022 Sesshin

Sesshin: to touch the heart-mind

Registration is now open for 

Greater Boston Zen Center December Sesshin

December 15-18, 2022
Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center
167 Neck Road
Madison, CT 06443-0191 

With teachers: 
Jeff Kōgen Seul, Sensei
Julie Seido Nelson, Dharma Holder
Fran Ludwig, Senior Assistant Teacher

Dear Sangha Friends, 

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for our summer residential retreat to be held December 15-18 at Mercy by the Sea in Madison, CT.  The retreat begins with dinner on Thursday evening, December 15, and ends at 10:00am on Sunday, December 18. 

Mercy by the Sea is situated on Long Island Sound and offers a strikingly beautiful setting for retreat. Delicious vegetarian meals are provided. Rooms are double occupancy with a private bath, or a bath shared with one other room. Linens are provided. (There will be no dorms, bunk beds, or need for sleeping bags.) 

Attendees should be vaccinated, and we highly recommend the new bivalent booster as well.  We will remain masked in public spaces except when eating, and we will practice social distancing.

The total fee for the retreat is $375 for members and $425 for non-members.  Financial aid is available if you are unable to pay the full fee.  We do not want the cost to prevent anyone from attending.  However, we do ask everyone to make some contribution no matter how small.  Since not everyone will be able to afford the full amount, if you are in a position to contribute to the scholarship fund, we encourage you to do so.

Carpooling will be arranged from the Boston area.


  1. Please fill out this on-line form. It asks you for contact information, and about your retreat background, your preferences regarding a roommate, and your need for special accommodations or financial aid. 
  2. After you fill out the form, please pay your fees (or what you can afford of them) and/or donate to the scholarship fund:
  • Pay online via a transfer from your bank, PayPal, or credit card. Fill out the "tickets" area for registration, and then add any scholarship amount using the "Make a Donation" area. 
  • If you prefer, you may mail a check made out to GBZC to:  GBZC Treasurer, 552 Massachusetts Ave, #208, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Please indicate on the memo line of the check:” December Sesshin.”  If you are able, to make an additional donation to the scholarship fund, please note this amount as "Scholarship fund.")

Payment in full is required to complete your registration. 

  1.   You will be notified by email of successful registration.  Allow 5 business days for the check to arrive, if you pay by check. 


Because the members' fee only covers room, board, and snacks, $375 of your payment is not tax deductible. The additional $50 for non-members and any donations to the scholarship fund are, like membership pledges, considered tax-deductible donations. 

Payment, cancellation, and wait list policies: 

  •   Registrations must be received by November 24. 
  •   We request that you notify us as soon as possible if you need to cancel.  Cancellations made by November 17 will receive a full refund. Cancellations by November 24 will receive a half refund. There will be no refunds after November 24. 

Supporting you at this sesshin are:

Tanto (sesshin coordinator):  Fran Ludwig
Assistant Tanto:  Cheryl Morrow
Registrar:  Julie Nelson


Jeff Kōgen Seul, Sensei.  Jeff Kōgen Seul is a Zen teacher and preceptor in the White Plum Asanga (the lineage of Taizan Maezumi, Roshi).  He received Denbo transmission from Kevin Jiun Hunt, Roshi, in 2018.   Jeff became part of GBZC’s predecessor sangha after moving to Cambridge many years ago to attend Harvard Divinity School.  A practicing lawyer, Jeff is engaged in conflict resolution and peacebuilding work through the Peace Appeal, an international NGO, and he teaches at HDS as Lecturer on the Practice of Peace.  Jeff lives in Boston with his wife, Esther Whitfield, and their two children.

Julie Seido Nelson, Dharma Holder.  Julie Nelson is the Teaching Coordinator of the Greater Boston Zen Center. She has practiced Zen for twenty years, and received Denkai transmission in May 2021. She teaches at the GBZC-Cambridge Tuesday evening sits and sometimes at the Saturday morning sits. Her writings on Zen can be found on her blog, and in Tricycle magazine. 

Fran Kainyo Ludwig, Senior Assistant Teacher. Fran Ludwig began her Zen practice in 2007. She’s been practicing with this community since 2019.  Along with Jeff Seul she leads the Thursday Evening Practice Group.  She is one of the teachers for the Saturday morning sits and the Sunrise Sits. 

If you have questions about registration and fees, please contact [email protected]. Questions about schedules and other on-site arrangements should be directed to t[email protected]. For questions to the teachers, [email protected]

Those who register will receive more details about retreat observances, the schedule, and what to bring as our December sesshin approaches. 

We hope to see you there! 

With many bows, 

Fran Ludwig