Learning the Backward Step and Fully Embracing Life, 1-day retreat with Shokuchi Carrigan, April 21


Event Details

  • Date:

Please note that details for this offering have changed. Review the information on this page carefully for final details. Meditation instruction will take place at 9 a.m. as usual.

Please join us for this Special Wholehearted Activity retreat with Zen priest and yoga teacher Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan.

learn the backward step that turns your light inwardly to illuminate your self.”  – Fukanzazengi by Eihei Dogen, thirteenth century founder of Soto Zen in Japan

What is the backward step that illuminates the self and how do we learn it?

During this one-day retreat, we will together take up traditional spiritual practices of sitting meditation, yoga and community work in ways that will help us to see all of daily activity as opportunities to wholeheartedly express our life.

Practicing silence and stillness in meditative posture, we can come to realize the very mind that is not separate from ordinary mind, and through our work together, we can experience the ultimate stillness and silence of zazen that is the ground of everyday activity, the ground of being. The entire retreat day will be devoted to practice, including mealtime.

We ask that you bring a bag lunch and commit to being at Brooklyn Zen Center for the full retreat schedule. Beverages and an afternoon snack will be provided. Please bring comfortable clothes for meditation and yoga practice. Appropriate to all levels, no previous experience required.

Each moment of zazen is equally wholeness of practice, equally wholeness of realization. – Self-Employing and Self Receiving Samadhi by Eihei Dogen


Retreat cost: Sustaining $80 / Base $65 / Members $40 (for at least 3 months)

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. Click here to register. Same day on site registrations are welcome.

Partial scholarships are available for 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 April 16 at midnight.

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.


About Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan


Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan received training in Soto Zen practice as a resident of San Francisco Zen Center for 12 yearswas ordained as a priest in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2010, and served as head monk (shuso) in 2014. She has taught yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988, as well as co- leading Zen and Yoga retreats at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm since 2002. Shokuchi is currently serving as Head of Practice (Tanto) at the Brooklyn Zen Center.


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.