3-Day Sesshin with Greg Snyder, Oct 5-7

Event Details

  • Date:

Retreat Schedule: Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

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

The Path of Refuge: Avowing our Collective Karma Together 

In our morning service, our first act of speech is to avowal our karma. In doing so, we take responsibility not only for the suffering we have personally caused, but for all the arising fruits of an ancient karma that conditions our lives together. We live in a time when our personal karma is so clearly intertwined with a painfully apparent collective karma. Dogen asks we practitioners of Zen to “immediately clarify all causes and all effects if you want to make the aspiration for enlightenment your priority, and so respond to the boundless gift of buddha ancestors.”

As we come to understand the causes and effects of these complex relationships of personal and collective karma, how do we work with the seeming relentlessness of our realizations? Our morning service provides the answer. We immediately follow our avowal of karma with taking refuge in Buddha, dharma and sangha. These two practices are not separate. The working with our karma is supported by our taking of refuge, as well as its deepest meaning. In this three-day sit, we will be exploring taking refuge in the three treasures as critical to our path of responsibility for our shared karma. Please join us, so we can clarify our aspirations and respond to the boundless gift of buddha ancestors together.

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 September 30 at 11:59 p.m. 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 September 25 at 11:59 p.m.

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.

Oryoki meals are included in the cost of the sesshin. However, to receive their meals, participants will need a set of oryoki bowls. Participants may bring their own set. They may also rent an oryoki set for the duration of sesshin or buy one through BZC. If you intend to rent or buy an oryoki set, please complete this form by Monday, September 24 at 11:59 p.m. 

To purchase an oryoki set, a suggested donation of $55 (members) / $65 (base/nonmember) / $80 (sustaining) is encouraged. If your intention is to rent a set, the suggested rental donation is $5/day, which will mean $15 for the full three days.

Please send in your payment by Monday, September 24.

Payment options include the donate page on the website, PayPal at paypal@brooklynzen.org or Venmo @brooklynzen with a note indicating “Oryoki Set Purchase” or “Oryoki Set Rental”. You may also leave a check in the temple donation box on your next visit to BZC.

Participants will be contacted by a BZC staff member once their set is available.

Keep in mind that we are limited on storage space and therefore only a limited amount of sets will be available for rental and purchase. Oryoki will be practiced at future retreats and participants are strongly encouraged to purchase a 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 entrance to the building. Please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. The center is located at the top of a steeper second staircase of around 20 steps. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance; please email in advance if you need access. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at info@brooklynzen.org.