Overnight retreats for intensive Zen practice, called sesshin, take place from two to four times a year at retreat centers in the area. Upcoming sesshins are announced in advance through our email mailing list. Please join our email list if you are interested in these retreat announcements.
They are a powerful way to take the next step in Zen, and to connect to the power, strength, and support of the community. We wake up early, chant together, spend a great deal of time “on the cushion,” and share formal meal practice (oryoki). As a sangha-led-sangha we enjoy Dharma Discussions led by volunteer participants. We are encouraged to remain silent otherwise as much as possible and to consider our rest periods and work periods as part of our practice. Individual meetings with a teacher may be available for those who request them.
If you are considering coming to your first sesshin, please talk to any experienced students–especially if you’re feeling daunted or intimidated by the prospect. (Sesshin are much more survivable than you may imagine!) Lack of transportation or funds should not be a reason for staying away since we arrange carpools and have scholarship funds available.
Our most recent Greater Boston Zen Center residential retreat took place December 14-17, 2023 at beautiful Mercy by the Sea in Madison, CT.
Sesshins are also posted on our calendar.