Zen retreats (sesshins) can be physically and psycho-spiritually intense. They are designed to tire our physical body and our calculating mind (“left” brain) such that our deeper layers of consciousness can be activated. Zen retreats involve many hours of seated meditation/chanting each day. We highly encourage preparing one’s heart-mind-body for upcoming discipline and deep purification by trying these steps in the preceding months/weeks:
— Please try getting to bed and wake up earlier than usual.
— Please meditate every day even if for a short time.
— Please familiarize yourself with our core daily schedule, basic sesshin culture. Do share your questions and concerns with us. We will do everything to make it work for you.
What to pack
— Please bring your own towels. If you are staying with one of the sangha members in South Boulder, they will be able to provide pillow, comforter(s) and sheets.
— We will not be outdoors for too long but it is a good idea to bring sun, darkness and rain protection (flashlight, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, poncho).
— Please bring sturdy shoes/boots for walks. Expect slightly uneven surfaces on trails around our home. We will be barefoot inside our home.
— Toiletries, prescription/non-prescription medication, dietary supplements, and/or other personal items. We will make coffee in the morning and there will be a selection of herbal, green and black teas available at meals.
— We will prepare food on site except for dinner on the first day. You are welcome to bring snacks & tea/coffee supplies. There will be very limited refrigerator space for personal perishable items which can be used during personal time but not formal meal times. You can bring Tupperware to take cooked food away with you at the end of the retreat.
— We have water filters at home. You can bring your water bottle but we encourage no drinking of water in the middle of sits.
— Please do NOT bring any flat-mat (pad or zabutan) or round cushion (Zafu) for indoor meditation.
— Please bring your favorite ear plugs. You would be sharing rooms with others and they will help if you are sensitive to sounds.
— Please bring jacket, hat and gloves, as appropriate for you.
— We do not have any ability to host pets.
While you are staying in South Boulder
— We will maintain noble silence except for instructions, interviews and as needed to complete our cooking/cleaning assignments. Please do not engage in conversations with your host(s).
— If you are attending weekend retreat, please know that we usually lock the door when we are meditating in the basement floor.
— We will create more guidelines as a community to honor each other’s needs at the beginning of the retreat.
Bring your passion to explore your own unconscious and sub-conscious mind, love and care with you. May our gatherings serve us all very well. Looking forward to connecting with you very soon!