Register for April Sesshin

Sesshin: To Touch the Heart-Mind

Registration is now open for 

Greater Boston Zen Center April Sesshin

April 20 – 23, 2023
Providence Zen Center
99 Pound Rd, Cumberland, RI 

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 spring residential retreat, to be held April 20 – 23 at Providence Zen Center, in Cumberland, RI.  The retreat begins with dinner at 5:30 pm on Thursday evening, April 20, and ends at 11:00 am on Sunday, April 23. 

Providence Zen Center sits on a beautiful, 50-acre campus in Cumberland, RI.  We will be holding our sesshin in the Diamond Hill Monastery, a separate smaller temple tucked into the woods overlooking a pond, that is a short distance from the main building.  Rooms are double occupancy with shared baths.  Eight rooms are available in the Monastery, with additional rooms in the main building.  Linens, towels, zafus and zabutons are provided.  There will be three vegetarian meals each day that we will eat oryoki style at our cushions.

Attendees should be vaccinated, and fully boosted for Covid protection.  You will be asked when registering to attest that you are fully up-to-date on Covid vaccinations, as defined by the CDC. Please note that attendees will not be required to wear masks when eating, when in private (single) rooms, or when outside. Wearing a mask indoors at other times is encouraged, but is at your own discretion


The total fee for the retreat is:
$350 double occupancy for members 
$400 double occupancy for non-members  
$100 increment for a single room, subject to availability  

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.

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, your interest in carpooling, and your need for special accommodations or financial aid. 
  2. After you fill out the form, please pay your member or non-member 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. Note that about 3% of your payment goes to transaction fees if you choose to pay by credit card, 2% if you pay using a PayPal account, and less than 1% if you pay by ACH (bank transfer). Please consider ACH or covering the fees, if you are able. 
    • 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: ”April 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. You will be notified later in the process about the availability of single rooms.


Because the basic fee just covers room, board, and snacks, $350  of your payment is not tax deductible. The additional $50 for non-members, the additional $100 for a single room (if available), 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 March 30
  •  We request that you notify us as soon as possible if you need to cancel.  Cancellations made by March 23 will receive a full refund. Cancellations by April 6 will receive a half refund. There will be no refunds after April 6.
  • Maximum registration for this retreat is 25 participants.  If you register after the sesshin is full, your name will be placed on a wait list, and you will be notified if an opening occurs.

Supporting You at This Sesshin

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 the schedule and other on-site arrangements should be directed to [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 April sesshin approaches. 

We hope to see you there! 

With many bows, 

Fran Ludwig