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 Sesshin in January and the 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 The Oxford Zen Centre Zendo, 12 Mortimer Drive, Oxford.
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 practitioners welcome Sesshins with appreciation and a deep sense of blessing. Email Sandy Chubb for more information about UK retreats and email John Gaynor for more information about retreats in Germany and Italy.
Dates of Retreats in 2021
JANUARY: Tuesday 19th – Sunday 24th January. Online virtual Sesshin led by Sandy Chubb.
APRIL: Tuesday 20th – Friday 23rd April. Online virtual Sesshin led by Sandy Chubb.
JULY: Monday 19th – Saturday 24th July at St Cassian’s Centre, Kintbury (aka Kintbury Experience), Hungerford, Berkshire.
Details of the St Cassian’s Centre can be found here.