Sesshin (Retreat)

Residential Practice Intensive, January 4-26

January 4, 2025 – January 26, 2025

Location
Watershed Retreat Center
44 Kaye Rd
Millerton, NY 12546
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Description

Join us for BZC’s first-ever Residential Practice Intensive, a turning point for our sangha and an auspicious way to begin BZC’s 20th Anniversary year.

This is a rare opportunity to study with both BZC’s Root Teacher Teah Strozer and Senior Priest Kosen Gregory Snyder, who will co-lead this three-week intensive at Ancestral Heart Temple and neighboring Watershed Retreat Center. Participants will:

  • Train deeply in Soto Zen ritual and ceremony, including the monastic schedule, zazen, bowing and chanting services, and oryoki meals
  • Sit both a 3-day and 7-day sesshin (retreat) to open and close the Intensive
  • Form intimate sangha connections through communal living, work practice, and monastic roles
  • Immerse in the stillness and silence of the beautiful Oblong valley with miles of adjacent hiking trails
  • Meet with Dharma Teachers for dokusan (one-on-one practice discussion)
  • Mark the lay dharma transmission of BZC’s Senior Lay Practitioner Shingetsu Laura O’Loughlin

 

FAQ

What can I expect of a typical day?

Participants will follow a communal schedule. Each day will begin before dawn and include multiple periods of zazen, work practice, and shared meals. Sesshin days will feature more periods of sitting. Participants will be asked to abide by the shingi (monastic guidelines) and ethical precepts while in residence. There will also be days off for rest, conversation, and connecting to the land.

Can I participate for part of the Practice Intensive?

We ask all participants to participate in the entire Practice Intensive to help maintain a settled and intimate container.

How were the fees calculated?

The “Base Rate” represents the actual costs of running this Practice Intensive, including renting the retreat center, travel for teachers, food, and the staff time to organize this offering. We have funds to support BIPOC practitioners and are open to scholarship requests as needed. We ask those who can offer above the base rate to do so, which offsets scholarships. Please find more information about BZC’s Equitable Pricing Model below.

Does this Practice Intensive meet Soto Zen Buddhist Association standards?

Yes, this meets SZBA’s criteria for formal practice intensive training.

How do I get to Ancestral Heart Temple?

Ancestral Heart Temple is in Millerton, NY, 100 miles north of New York City and near the Massachusetts and Connecticut borders. Participants can take the Metro North Train from Grand Central to Wassaic; Ancestral Heart residents will provide a shuttle from there. Participants are also welcome to drive.

How many participants will there be?

We are capping registration at 32 participants—the maximum number that will fit in the zendo for zazen and services. Please register early to save a spot! Registration closes December 20 or when full.


BZC is committed to offering classes, workshops, and retreats on a sliding scale in an aspiration to move towards equity within our sangha. To that end, we offer an equitable pricing model as a mindfulness practice and a mirror of our relations to histories of wealth. Please see the Equitable Pricing Model to determine your registration rate level.

If you’re unable to pay at the lowest rate, please use this form to apply for an exemption.

If you have any questions or concerns about registration, please contact us here.


GUIDING TEACHER

Soshin Teah Strozer is BZC’s honorary founding teacher. She visited BZC’s city temple to lead retreats from 2006 through 2010. BZC then invited her to be our resident teacher for half of each year, which Teah generously did from 2010 through 2016. Teah is a Zen Buddhist priest, dharma teacher, and lineage-holder in the Soto Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. She received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Teah has been practicing meditation since 1967, lived at Tassajara Monastery for 11 years, and has studied directly under Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Teah has taught for many years at the San Francisco Zen Center and also at the Bay School of San Francisco, where she served as the chaplain. Teah served as BZC’s founding dharma teacher from 2007 through 2017.

Instructor

Kosen Gregory Snyder was raised in an Appalachian mountain valley along the banks of the Susquehanna river where his Pennsylvania Dutch family have lived and farmed for many generations. He is a dharma teacher, senior priest, and co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) and Ancestral Heart Temple. He is also the Senior Director and Assistant Professor 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. Kosen received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Soshin Teah Strozer, BZC’s honorary founding teacher, and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Kosen is active with multiple inter-religious, spiritual, and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-racism, social justice, and living harmoniously with the Earth.

Fee
$1,800 — $2,400
Questions?
info@brooklynzen.org

We cannot offer refunds once registration closes on December 20. You may request a full refund by emailing info@brooklynzen.org. This policy supports the organizing effort involved in managing registrations and cancellations and the largely volunteer-based structure of the Brooklyn Zen Center.

Watershed Retreat Center and Ancestral Heart Temple are adjacent to each other, and participants may need to take a 5-10 minute walk or short car ride between them. Most of Watershed's housing is in an historic building with stairs, and the zendo will be in a yurt along a gravel walkway. Participants are asked not to wear scents. BZC is committed to meeting participants' accessibility needs—please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Residential Practice Intensive, January 4-26
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