Week-long Dai-sesshin retreats are one of the most important and demanding features of Zen practice at Mount Baldy. The eighteen hour days include zazen, chanting, and monastic style meals, and center on Joshu Roshi’s Sanzen and Teishos. The focused, contemplative atmosphere of Dai-sesshins frees us from outside distractions and allows us to hone our efforts to a single point of concentration, making way for breakthroughs in insight and experience.

If you are a new student you will need to fill out an Application form. We also require a letter of recommendation from a meditation teacher who is familiar with your practice. New students also need to arrive at least three days before their first Dai-sesshin starts. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to reserve a space.

Returning students: Roshi has stressed the importance of being present for the opening Banka ceremony (afternoon chanting) of Dai-sesshin, which starts at 4:10pm on hashin kyuji (the day before Dai-sesshin). Please make every effort to be settled in time.

A typical Dai-sesshin schedule:

  • 3 am wake up
  • 3:10 formal tea
  • 3:30 chanting
  • 4:30 – 6:30 zazen/ sanzen
  • 6:45 breakfast
  • 7:20 break
  • 7:30 zazen
  • 8:30 teisho
  • 9:45-11:45 zazen
  • 10:00-11:45 sanzen
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30 work period
  • 12:40 break
  • 12:50-2:30 zazen and showers
  • 2:45 chanting
  • 3:45 -5:30 zazen, sanzen
  • 5:45 dinner
  • 6:20 break
  • 6:30 gyodo ( walking/chanting)
  • 7:00 -9:00 zazen, sanzen