During the Pandemic
Sesshins in 2022
Some of the information on this page is applicable only to fully residential sesshins, which are not being held during the pandemic.
Nonetheless, whether the sesshin is Zoom only, in person only, or hybrid, the spirit of sesshin remains the same—a period of increased and intensified zazen undertaken with the intention of silence throughout the day and attentively focusing on practice no matter what you are doing.
Teisho (Zen talks by the teacher) and dokusan or private instruction are essential elements of sesshin along with zazen. In sesshin, this intensification of practice is accomplished with the support of others who are following the same schedule. While this may be more difficult to do at home, with advanced planning, it is possible. It is up to each person to keep the spirit of sesshin as well as they can.
Before Applying to Sesshin
Before applying to sesshin, if you are attending via Zoom, it is imperative that you consult with family members about your sesshin expectations. Don't wait until the last minute to do this. The success of your virtual sesshin depends upon good communication with those with whom you share living space.
July-August Sesshin Information
General Sesshin Information
Shortcuts to Having a Strong Sesshin, by Sunyana Graef, Roshi
“Going to sesshin is a bit like preparing oneself prior to taking a journey to a distant land. You need appropriate clothes, you need to know a few survival phrases, and you need to have passing familiarity with the culture. In the same way, when you come to sesshin, you need to dress correctly, you need to know a few terms, and you need to know what is expected of you.” Read More . . .
The Jataka Tales Come to Vermont, by Josh Kelman
“This was not your ordinary sesshin. The schedule had three full time days and four more going to work each day. And in place of teisho, Rafe Martin told Jataka stories complete with background, commentary and discussion. The Jataka tales, stories of the Buddha’s past lives, opened up before us and we entered them”. Read More . . .
The sesshin schedule for 2022 depends on the state of the pandemic.
- February 17-20—3-day sesshin
- April 14-23—7-day sesshin
- June 25-30—5-day sesshin
- July 30-August 6—7-day sesshin