Rohatsu Sesshin, Dec 12-16


Event Details

  • Date:

This five-day sesshin (formal retreat) with Greg Snyder and Laura O’Loughlin runs December 12th-16th

Retreat schedule:  9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Wed – Sat, 5:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday.

The retreat will feature periods of sitting and walking meditation and dharma talks. There will also be an opportunity for participants to meet with teachers for private practice discussion. The schedule will go from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Oryoki meals (traditional zendo eating) will be served: vegetarian lunches and dinners will be served Wednesday through Saturday, and breakfast and lunch will be served on Sunday.


Full sesshin cost: Sustaining $600 / Base $510 / Members (for 3 months) $325.

Partial attendance is NOT available. Participants are required to attend the full five days of the sesshin.

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 December 2 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 November 23 at 11:59pm.

Please also 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 through BZC. If you intend to rent an oryoki set, please complete this form by Monday, November 26 at 11:59 p.m. or sooner. Oryoki bowls are now out of stock for purchase through BZC.

To rent a set, the suggested rental donation is $5/day, which will mean $25 for the full five days.

Please send in your payment ASAP.

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

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.

About Laura O’Loughlin
Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner at Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC), as well as its co-founder. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is also a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation and address developmental and societal trauma. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center. Laura was also Director of Austin Zen Center, where among other things she studied the interface between eastern and western psychologies. Laura received lay dharma entrustment from Teah Strozer in 2017. In her current work, Laura is interested in how trauma modalities can support our collective healing from histories of racist and patriarchal violence. Laura co-facilitates the undoing whiteness group at BZC and leads retreats exploring patriarchal trauma and affirming the sacred feminine.


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.