Sesshins and Zazenkai
The word “sesshin” can be translated from Japanese in different ways, such as “gathering the mind”, or “raising the mind together”, or even “together one mind”.
A sesshin is a period of intense silent zazen practice and we keep speaking to minimum. A sesshin is designed to offer the participants an opportunity to be intensely and directly present in the now. When you sit, just sit. When you walk, just walk. When you eat, just eat.
In our usual state of mind we are very often distracted. Mentally we are occupied with other things than what ever the moment presents. A sesshin is an ideal opportunity to deepen our concentration, our openness and our presence. It's also an opportunity to take a step backwards, to disengage from our everyday busy lives and to be collectedly present.
We regularly organise three day sesshins (starting Thursday evening at 18 hrs to Sunday afternoon 17 hrs) but also five day and week long sesshins. Every year In the summer we participate in a two week retreat in the French Morvan, organised by the Dana Sangha Paris. We also hold a week long Zen Heart Sangha summer retreat in the east off the Netherlands.
During sesshin there are periods of sitting meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), meditative work periods (samu), the opportunity to have private interview (daisan) with Michel Sensei, dharma talks (teisho) and suttra services. Part time participation is almost always possible, but full time participants will have preference when a sesshin is fully booked. For the full program see the Events page.
The word Zazenlai means “gathering for meditation”. A zazenkai is a one day retreat that is less intense than a sesshin but has the same intentions and purpose.