Rohatsu Sesshin, Dec 4-10

Event Details

  • Date:

This seven-day sesshin (formal retreat) with Teah Strozer, Greg Snyder, Pam Weiss and Laura O’Loughlin, runs December 4th-10th.

Retreat Schedule: 9-5pm Mon – Tues, 9-9pm Wed – Sat, 9-2pm Sun.

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 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, then 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdaythrough Saturday, and will include a ceremony on the last day (details to be announced). No meals will be served on Monday and Tuesday. Vegetarian lunches and dinners will be served Wednesday through Saturday, and breakfast and lunch will be served on the last day.

Transmission and Transition

Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha transmitted the simple yet profound teaching of ‘things as they are”. The path of practice leads to the simplicity of accepting things as they have come to be and responding from a place of openness and presence. At the base of this simplicity is the flow of life energy.  When we renounce egoic grasping and are able to see from a place of wholeness we notice that energy of life was living in what we call ‘my life’ all along. We give what we think of as our life to this flow. It makes things much simpler, clearer and makes it much easier to respond appropriately. This is not a passive acceptance or a giving up. It is a dynamic renunciation of the small self and all the ideas that create and maintain it. This is not a path for the meek. It takes courage to walk this path and to face how we have come to be with all our human frailty and fear. Sometimes a longer retreat is the perfect place to look deeply and let things be as they are, arising and ceasing endlessly.

This Rohatsu we will sit in silence together and mark the transmission and transition of leadership, as Teah shares the teaching seat with some of her most senior students and steps down from formal leadership at BZC.

At the end of the sesshin, we will hold a precept ceremony where 12 zen students will take the Bodhisattva vows and make a formal commitment to live a life devoted to supporting the end of suffering for all beings. Please join us in supporting the sincere commitment of these practitioners by witnessing their formal vows.

Everyone is welcome to the ceremony, including those unable to participate in the rohatsu. The ceremony will start at 2 p.m. and last approximately two hours. Guests can arrive around 1:40 p.m.

Full sesshin cost: Sustaining $600 / Base $510 / Members (for 3 months) $325. Please see the registration page for partial attendance pricing.

We require a minimum attendance of five 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 is now closed.  

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 15th 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.

About Teah Strozer

Teah OneTeah 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. She currently divides her time between San Francisco and Brooklyn, visiting our community throughout the year to teach and lead extended meditation retreats and practice periods.

About Greg Snyder

Greg Snyder is a dharma teacher 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 Pamela Weiss

Pamela Weiss is a Buddhist teacher and executive coach. She has been practicing for thirty years and is authorized to teach in both Zen and Theravada (Insight) traditions. Pamela is the Founder of Appropriate Response, a company dedicated to bringing the principles and practices of Buddhism to leadership and organizations. She is also the co-leader of the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock, and leads a local sitting group through San Francisco Insight.

About Laura O’Loughlin
Laura O’Loughlin is co-founder and lay teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is currently 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. 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.

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