Sesshin deepens our Zen Meditation more than any other
form of retreat. The word “Sesshin” literally means
“touching the heart/mind.” To make profound changes
in our mind and in our everyday world, Sesshin is essential.
Practicing together with a teacher and community brings equanimity
to our life.
Prior experience with other retreats at MEZ is necessary before
doing a full Sesshin, though with prior approval there is the
possibility of doing a partial Sesshin.
Sesshin is usually the third weekend of each month, Friday 7:00
p.m. – Sunday 3:00 p.m., but please note certain exceptions,
such as the Long Summer Sesshin and the Year-End Sesshin.
2013 Sesshin Schedule
Beginning Anew Precepts Sesshin
April 19th - 21st
May Silence and Sound Sesshin
(preparation for the big summer sesshin)
May 17th - 19th
Long Summer Sesshin with Takamine Doyu Roshi
and Rev. Tom Wright
June 6th - 13th
July 19th - 21st
Candles on the River Obon Sesshin
August 16th - 18th
Suggested Weekend Sesshin donation: $120, $85 (Friend)
Rohatsu Silent Sesshin suggested donation: $300, $240 (Friend)
Long Summer Sesshin suggested donation
$420, $350 (Friend)
Daily Rate: $65, $55 (Friend)
Suggestion of $10 daily for Teacher Dana
Personal Practice at Mount Equity Zendo
MEZ offers three options for experienced practitioners wanting to deepen
their understanding of Zen during non-retreat times. Either
option is arranged ahead of time with Abbess Dai-En either by phone or
1. Open-Ended Abiding
is an opportunity to practice with the teacher of Mount Equity Zendo
in a less formal way. Activities include morning and evening
zazen on most days, sutra service, gyohatsu or oriyoki meals as well as
informal meals, and work practice in the morning and afternoon.
Work practice includes gardening, cooking, and cleaning. There is
also personal time during the day. Staying from two days to two weeks is available.
Typical Daily Schedule:
6:00am wake up
7:00 Sutra Service
9:00 Work Practice
1:00 Personal Time
3:00 Work Practice
7:00pm Zazen (some evenings personal time)
10:00pm Lights Out
Suggested donation $25/day, $100/week ($15/day $85/week for MEZ Friends and Students)
2. Individual Retreat for women is a new
possibility for training at Mount Equity Zendo for two to seven days
and is for those with a mature Zen practice. Enjoy the use of a
private room with simple furnishings and complete bath.
This option is available from May to the end of October beginning
in 2013, and is subject to the MEZ schedule. Vegetarian meals are
provided and can be eaten either with the residents or
independently. The practitioner joins the Sangha for
morning and evening zazen, sutra service and morning work period, and can
enjoy the grounds throughout the day. Interview with Abbess
Dai-En can be arranged upon request.
Suggested Donation $35/day ($25 for MEZ Friends)
3. Priest Training
is for female students of Mt. Equity Zendo or for female precepted students of other Soto Zen
teachers in the United States and abroad who wish to prepare themselves
for training in Japanese Zen monasteries or American Soto Zen
centers. This training is personalized to fit the needs of the
novice priest. Instructions in wearing robes, chanting in
Japanese, preparing and serving meals, ringing bells, taiko drum
practice, takuhatsu attire, learning to be Jisha, and how to comport oneself with seniors and
fellow trainees in a training monastery are among the main topics that
have been included in past trainings. Being in residence for one
week to three months is recommended. Permission of the
applicant's teacher is required.
Suggested Donation $15/day, with adjustment for length of time.
What to Bring for Lay Retreats
Please bring toiletries, comfortable clothes in subdued colors (no
shorts, tank tops or tights), rain gear, work clothes, and your own
sheets or sleeping bag. No fragrances, accessories, or pets. Clothing
should have a quiet dignity suited to visiting a sanctuary. Leave
behind all electronics, including cell phones, during your
retreat. During long-term practice, there is an alotted time for
the use of electronic devices.