Summer and winter Seichu periods are three month intensive retreats that incorporate all the traditional elements of formal Zen training, including zazen meditation, chanting, formal meals, and work periods. As circumstances permit, Joshu Sasaki Roshi will guide our training by offering sanzen (private interviews) and teisho (commentary on classic Zen texts), and leading several one-week Dai-sesshin retreats.

Participants are accommodated in dormitory style cabins that offer a bed and a space for personal belongings. During formal training all participants wear Mount Baldy style black robes. All meals are silent and incorporate chanting, food offerings, and cleaning rituals. The food is vegetarian and includes Western as well as traditional Japanese dishes. Work periods offer practice in various fields including cooking, sewing, plumbing, maintenance work etc. These activities are performed in the spirit of Zen practice; therefore, talking is kept to a minimum.

Seichu is designed for students who already have prior experience with formal Zen practice. If you wish to participate you will need to pay a fee and complete an Application form. We also require a letter of recommendation from a meditation teacher who is familiar with your practice.

A typical daily schedule for the Seichu period:

  • 4 am wake-up
  • 4:15 formal tea
  • 4: 30 chanting
  • 5:15 zazen/ sanzen
  • 6:30 breakfast
  • 8:00 work practice
  • 11:30 lunch
  • 12:15 break
  • 1:30 work practice
  • 5:45 dinner
  • 6:30-9:00 zazen/ sanzen
  • 9:00 closing