Four times a year, Hokoji hosts a multi-day Zen retreat with a consistent schedule that creates a deep, quiet container for zazen (sitting meditation) practice. Practitioners are invited to allow the mind to rest in its natural state and enter a shared silence that opens the heart and allows for a higher awareness to arise and grow. The Japanese word for retreat is Sesshin which means to collect the heart/mind. During these retreats we devote every aspect of the day to the realization of the Buddha Way.
Practitioners typically arrive on Wednesday late afternoon for a casual potluck dinner, orientation, and evening meditation. Each day consists of sitting (zazen) and walking (kinhin) meditation, service and chanting, personal interviews with the teacher, work practice (samu), and informal afternoon tea. Throughout the retreat we support each other in quiet, whole-hearted practice. Meals are taken through the practice of Oryoki --a mindful way of eating that provides an opportunity to deepen our practice. The retreat ends with an informal lunch on Sunday. A detailed schedule can be found here.