Set aside all involvements and let the myriad things rest.
Zazen is not thinking of good, not thinking of bad.
It is not conscious endeavour. It is not introspection.
Do not desire to become a Buddha; let sitting or lying down drop away.
Be mindful of the passing of time and
engage yourself in zazen as though
you are saving your head from fire.
Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253)
There are usually at least four annual retreats known as Sesshins. The Winter Sesshin in January and the Summer Sesshin in July each last five days and the Spring and Autumn Sesshins last three days. Retreats are usually held at The Carmelite Priory on Boars Hill, Oxford or at Cold Ash Retreat Centre, Near Newbury, Berkshire.
Sesshins offer people a chance to deepen their practice in intensive sitting which includes interviews with the teacher in Dokusan, a yoga and work period, meal times and free time. This long sitting together creates a dynamic spirituality and sitting power and although it is by no means easy, Zen practioners welcome Sesshins with appreciation and a deep sense of blessing. Email John Gaynor for more information about retreats in Germany and Italy.
Dates of Retreats in 2018
JANUARY: Tuesday 9th – Sunday 14th at The Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford. (Teachers Gundula Meyer Roshi and Sandy Chubb)
MARCH: Tuesday 13th – Friday 16th March at The Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford. (Teacher Sandy Chubb)
JULY: Tuesday 17th – Sunday 22nd July at The Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford. (Teacher Sandy Chubb)
OCTOBER: Monday 8th – Friday 12th October at The Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford. (Teacher Sandy Chubb)
Directions to The Carmelite Priory can be found here.