"Sesshin" (literally, "touching the heart") are intensive periods of group practice with approximately ten hours of meditation each day. It is a practice designed to challenge and deepen one's practice, and there is no better way to explore and awaken to the heart of Zen, which is the heart of everything.
"Retreats" - less intense than sesshins - usually involve about six hours of meditation, and typically include a full schedule of zazen, group study sessions, and work practice.
In addition to the meditation hall, communal spaces, and the outdoor garden with a walking path, NZC accommodations include several second floor sleeping rooms that serve as shared dorm space for retreat and sesshin participants. Vegetarian meals are provided. Meal preparation, eating formal and informal meals together, and kitchen clean-up are part of the daily practice.
Outside of dharma talks and dokusan (individual interviews with a teacher), sesshins and retreats take place within a container of silence. Participants are expected to follow the schedule, complete the portion of the retreat/sesshin they have committed to, and uphold the practice forms and guidelines that are designed to support group harmony.
Note:Our teachers, Dosho and Tetsugan, do not receive payment from Nebraska Zen Center for leading retreats but rely on "teacher dana" for compensation. $30 per day of retreat is the suggested dana per person, but if your financial circumstances allow for more or less than that amount, your gift will be received with gratitude.
~ Zazenkai: A Day of Silent Meditation Sunday, April 14, 8:30am-4:30pm (includes a vegetarian lunch) These day-long meditation sessions include zazen, chanting/liturgy, and an individual meeting with a teacher. They are an important way for more experienced students to deepen their practice, and for newer students to lay the groundwork for the practice of sesshin.
Registration and payment deadline: 5:00pm, Sunday, April 7 Standard rate: $45; Member rate: $25 To register, simply submit your payment via PayPal or by check by the registration deadline, and include a note stating the payment is for the April 14th day of meditation. Next Zazenkai: Sunday June 23, 8:30am-4:30pm
~ Summer Sesshin Saturday, July 20, 7:00pm - Saturday, July 27, 12:00pm (7 days)
~ September Sesshin Thursday, September 26, 7:00pm - Sunday, September 29, 12:00pm (3 days)
~ Rohatsu Sesshin Saturday, December 7, 7:00pm - Saturday, December 14, 12:00pm (7 days)