3-Day Sesshin with Greg Snyder, March 15-17

Event Details

  • Date:

Retreat Schedule: Friday and Saturday 9 am – 9 pm, Sunday 9 am – 3 pm

Attendance: Strong preference and recommendation for folks to attend all three days.  You are allowed to do Saturday and Sunday only if necessary.

Working with Collective Self and Collective Karma in Sangha

During this three-day sesshin, we will be considering the teachings of karma, emptiness and no harm with regard to collective constructions of self. While many of us are often trained to think of the delusional, separate self as personal and psychological, we are also acting out variations of a collective and social self. As Buddhism teaches us the self is not permanent or separate, it is a mistake to believe the self’s expressions show up as only personal or individual. When we are asked to look at patriarchy or racial identities and whiteness, we are not pointing toward the individual or the personal, but toward the ways in which we manifest a collective self that has unconscious karmic effects beyond what we can possibly see through a personal lens. To name a collective self, racialized or otherwise, is not to divide people along racial lines or create disharmony, but to highlight and take responsibility for a collective self and karma often beyond our everyday view. This three-day sesshin will continue our community’s exploration of how we together in sangha take responsibility for this collective self and our collective karma.

Full sesshin cost: Sustaining $285 / Base $240 / Members (for 3 months) $150. Please see the registration page for partial attendance pricing.

We require a minimum attendance of two consecutive days ending on Sunday.

Please note that Brooklyn Zen Center is not a residential community.

BZC offers retreats on a sliding scale basis to allow participants to pay according to individual means. Please consider giving at our sustaining rate which directly supports inclusive community attendance on this retreat.

Registration closes Friday, March 8 at 11:59 pm. Click here to register.

Partial scholarships are available for sitting retreats such as this one. To apply for a scholarship, please use this link and wait for approval before registration. Scholarship applications are due by Wednesday, March 6 at 11:59 pm.

Please note our cancellation policy: To request a refund for this event, you must notify BZC in writing at least one week before the beginning of the course or event. Refunds are issued for any and all cancellations up to seven days before an event less a $10 processing fee. Less than seven days before an event, we do not offer refunds. There are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50.

In this sesshin, participants will practice the ceremony of oryoki, in which the sangha comes together in giving and receiving food in the meditation hall, using stacked and wrapped bowl sets, in a ceremony going back to our Chinese Buddhist ancestors.

The oryoki meal is included in the cost of the zazenkai. However, to receive their meal, participants will need a set of oryoki bowls. Participants may bring their own set. They may also rent an oryoki set for the zazenkai. For Oryoki set rental, there’s a suggested donation of ($5/day) $10 for 2 days and $15 for 3 days. To rent an oryoki set, please add the rental payment when registering.

Keep in mind that we are limited on storage space and therefore only a limited amount of sets will be available for rental. Oryoki will be practiced at future retreats and participants are strongly encouraged to have their own set.

Please email info@brooklynzen.org with any questions, concerns or if other arrangements are needed.

Please note that there will be NO alternative meal plan offered. The kitchen will send out the menu with ingredients listed to all registered participants the week before the sesshin, so that alternative arrangements can be made for those with dietary restrictions.

About Greg Snyder

Greg Snyder is a dharma teacher and senior priest at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder and current President. He is also the Senior Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he directs and teaches in a Masters of Divinity program focused on Buddhism and Inter-religious Engagement. Greg received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Teah Strozer and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Greg is active with multiple interfaith and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-violence and social justice initiatives, and currently sits on the Brooklyn Borough President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships. Greg’s practice of Zen and the dharma includes an understanding that personal and social liberation are a deeply integrated process of mutual unfolding. In addition to teaching in a formal Zen context, he facilitates Undoing Whiteness and Undoing Patriarchy workshops and ongoing groups that focus on investigating self-identities that may unconsciously perpetuate societal suffering. His efforts include ensuring the dharma is truly available to everyone, supporting young people in practice, developing a community-responsive Zen center, and advocating for bringing the illumination of conditioning around patriarchy, racism and economic exploitation to the center of our Buddhist exploration of self. He is devoted to co-creating an American dharma movement that fully embraces a deep social engagement focused on transforming inequity, bias and violence in ourselves, our communities and the world.

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the Carroll Street entrance of the building; please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. From there, the center is located at the top of a longer flight of stairs. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance on President Street; please email us in advance if you need access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. Visit our Accessibility Page for more detailed access info. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at info@brooklynzen.org.