Sample Retreat Schedule

Bodhisattva, Afghanistan, vallée du Ghorband, ...Our sesshin and extended zazenkai retreat schedules are generally as follows below.

Opening Evening

[4:30-6:00 PM Oryoki & service position instruction, as needed;]
7:00-7:30 opening remarks; zazen
7:40-8:15 zazen; Four Bodhisattva Vows
9:30 Lights out

Full Days of Sesshin

4:00-4:25 Coffee and tea
4:30 – 5:10 Gatha of Atonement; zazen
5:20-6:00 zazen
6:10-6:50 zazen; Verse of the Kesa
7:00-7:30 service
7:40-8:10 breakfast
8:15-9:15 samu
9:15-9:55 break
10:00-10:30 zazen
10:40-11:10 zazen
11:20-11:50 zazen
11:50-12:00 service
12:00-12:40 lunch
12:40-1:25 break
1:30-2:00 zazen

2:10-3:00 Teisho (on first, third, and fifth days of sesshin)

3:10-3:40 zazen (on second, fourth, and sometimes the sixth day of sesshin)

3:40-4:55 break
5:00-5:30 zazen
5:30-5:35 service
5:40-6:10 dinner
6:10-7:00 break
7:00-7:30 zazen
7:40-8:10 zazen
8:20-8:50 zazen; Four Bodhisattva Vows
9:30 Lights out

Final Day of Sesshin

5:00-5:25 Coffee and tea
5:30-6:10 Gatha of Atonement; zazen
6:20-7:00 zazen
7:10-7:40 zazen; Verse of the Kesa
7:40-8:20 service [and Nenju if sesshin is ending after breakfast]
8:20-9:00 breakfast (Note: Some sesshin end after breakfast. All participants are expected to help with clean up.)

Oryoki (formal meal) instruction will take place at 4:30 PM of the first day of sesshin. It is mandatory for first-time participants to attend this instruction session.) If time allows, there will also be some instruction in service formalities.

For those sleeping over, you are advised to bring a sleeping bag, wash cloth, towel, and other personal toiletries as necessary. It is also helpful to have a small flashlight or cell phone. If you bring a cell phone to retreat, you will need to restrict calls to break times and set the ringer to silent. Cell phones are no allowed in the zendo.

We are sometimes asked whether it is OK to come for just the Teisho (Roshi‘s Dharma talk). This is fine, but we ask that those who come for the talk commit to the period of meditation that precedes it. Therefore, if you want to come mainly for the talk, plan on arriving just before the 1:30 PM period of zazen and staying until about 3:00 PM. We appreciate your cooperation.