First Zen meditation retreat

First Zen meditation retreat with Guy Mokuhô Mercier.


The first Zen meditation retreat, also known as sesshin, is designed for those wishing to discover the treasures of Zen and Zen meditation, zazen. Over two and a half days, you'll follow the daily life of a traditional Zen temple. You'll take part in four daily meditation sessions, sitting in silence, learning to concentrate, focus your attention on the present moment and cultivate inner stability.

You'll also discover the meaning of Zen temple ceremonies and rituals. These moments give rhythm to community life and strengthen spiritual connection. Posture workshops will help you perfect your posture during meditation.

By taking part in community life, you'll be helping to maintain La Gendronnière, Europe's largest Zen temple, located on an 80-hectare estate. You'll learn to eat ritually and live each moment to the full. There will be time for rest, so you can take time for yourself and integrate the teachings.

Through this profound experience of the first sesshin, you'll develop the ability to approach the different stages of your life with confidence. You'll learn to cultivate inner stability and live fully in the present moment. La Gendronnière, with its peaceful atmosphere, will be the ideal setting for this spiritual exploration.


Wednesday MAY 8th

Arrive before 6pm.

Introductory talk on Zen practice in the dojo

8.30pm: Dinner


Thursday MAY 9 & Friday MAY 10

5:50 am : wake-up

6:30am - 8:30am: zazen & ceremony followed by procession and breakfast

8:30 am: coffee

9h00 - 10h00 : samu (participation in daily life tasks)

10:15 - 12:15: teachings and zazen

12:30 pm: lunch

3:00 - 4:00 pm: samu

16h30 - 18h45 : teachings and zazen

7:00 pm: dinner

20h30 - 21h30 : zazen

22h00 : Bedtime

Saturday MAY 11

5:50 am: wake-up

6:30am - 8:30am: zazen & ceremony followed by procession and breakfast

8:30 am: coffee

10h00 - 11h15 : zazen

11:30 am - 12:30 pm: samu (participation in daily chores)

1 pm: meal and departure



The session will be led by Guy Mokuhô Mercier, a disciple of Master Deshimaru, assisted by members of his sangha. Guy Mokuhô Mercier began practising Zen in 1973 with Master Deshimaru, receiving his monk ordination in 1976. He received transmission from master Sojun Matsuno in September 2008. He is president of the Tenbôrin association and Abbé de la Gendronnière.


Room 4/5 : 231€
Room for 2 : 289€
Room solo : 370€
Dormitory : 174€