Sesshin

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SESSHINS IN 2021

For the first six months of 2021 there are three virtual sesshins scheduled. (See below for schedule.) We will continue to monitor the situation and will either add virtual sesshin or perhaps have residential sesshins later in the year.
While some of the information on this page is applicable only to residential sesshins, the specific dates and the application link are correct. And, the spirit of sesshin remains the same—a period of increased and intensified zazen undertaken with the intention of silence throughout the day and attentively focusing on practice no matter what you are doing.
Teisho (Zen talks by the teacher) and dokusan or private instruction are essential elements of sesshin along with zazen. In sesshin, this intensification of practice is accomplished with the support of others who are following the same schedule. While this may be more difficult to do at home, with advanced planning, it is possible. It is up to each person to keep the spirit of sesshin as well as they can.


Before applying to sesshin
, it is imperative that you consult with family members about your sesshin expectations. Don't wait until the last minute to do this. The success of your virtual sesshin depends upon good communication with those with whom you share living space.



More Information

Sortcuts to Having a Strong Sesshin,
by Sunyana Graef, Roshi

Going to sesshin is a bit like preparing oneself prior to taking a journey to a distant land. You need appropriate clothes, you need to know a few survival phrases, and you need to have passing familiarity with the culture. In the same way, when you come to sesshin, you need to dress correctly, you need to know a few terms, and you need to know what is expected of you. Read More . . .

The Jataka Tales Come to Vermont,
by Josh Kelman

This was not your ordinary sesshin. The schedule had three full time days and four more going to work each day. And in place of teisho, Rafe Martin told Jataka stories complete with background, commentary and discussion. The Jataka tales, stories of the Buddha’s past lives, opened up before us and we entered them. Read More . . .

There are three virtual sesshins currently scheduled in 2021.

February 5-72-day sesshin
April 8-113-day sesshin
June 24-273-day sesshin