December 2023 Sesshin

Sesshin: to touch the heart-mind

Registration is now CLOSED for the

Greater Boston Zen Center December Sesshin
December 14-17, 2023
Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center
167 Neck Road
Madison, CT 06443-0191 

Dear Sangha Friends, 

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for our residential retreat to be held December 14-17 at Mercy by the Sea in Madison, CT. The retreat begins with dinner at 5:30pm Thursday evening, December 13, and ends at 10:00am on Sunday, December 17. 

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 single or 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.) The retreat center has no Covid-related protocols at this time, though masking is encouraged.

Because GBZC is, during this time of revisioning who we want to be, without an official teacher, the schedule will emphasize sitting and walking meditation, chanting, and discussions led by volunteer attendees. However, sangha member Julie Nelson, a Sensei in the Taizan Maezumi lineage, will offer opportunities for private meetings to those who wish to arrange them. 

The total fee for the retreat is $375 for members and $425 for non-members.   (Membership can be applied for online.) Single rooms will likely be available for an additional fee. Donations to the scholarship fund are very welcome.

Too expensive? Don’t have a car? We do not want the cost to prevent anyone from attending. Financial aid is available if you are unable to pay the full fee.  However, we do ask everyone to make some contribution no matter how small.  Carpools will be arranged from the Boston area. 

Registration Process: 

  1. Please fill out this on-line form. It asks you for contact information, and about your retreat background, your preferences regarding a roommate (if any), 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 by going to this website to pay via PayPal, credit card, or bank transfer (ACH). 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 29. 
  •   We request that you notify us as soon as possible if you need to cancel.  Cancellations made by November 15 will receive a full refund. Cancellations by November 29 will receive a half refund. There will be no refunds after November 29. 

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