Long term retreats

zazen, seated meditation

At certain times of our life, it can be a good idea to take a break, withdraw from the world... At the zen temple, la Gendronnière, conditions are particularly favourable for spiritual retreats all year round.

Practitioners can:

  • discover or deepen the practice of zazen, zen meditation (morning and evening)
  • live a monastic life, following a precise schedule (see below)
  • receive teachings from various zen teachers from the International Zen Association
  • contribute to the daily samu, selfless activities for the community (cooking, gardening, cleaning...)
  • take part in Zen Buddhist rituals, such as morning ceremonies, oryoki (eating in silence, in bowls) or chosan (questions and answers with the teacher).


The Gendronnière: a meeting place for the sanghas

Devant la grande clocheApproximately once a month, a zen teacher from the International Zen Association leads a sesshin (intensive meditation retreat). For those who are staying long-term, it's an opportunity to meet various teachers and hear different perspectives on the Way of Zen.

The Gendronnière: an international temple

French is the most commonly used language, but many nationalities are represented, giving rise to enriching intercultural exchanges. We do our best to always translate what is said into languages of those present.

Learning to live together

In Zen tradition, it's important to learn to live together, overcoming our limits and preconceived ideas. That can happen when we all strive to evolve together.


A typical day

(tentative schedule; may vary, in exceptional circumstances)

6:00 am wake-up

6:30 - 7:05 am zazen

7:05 - 7:15 am kinhin

7:15 - 7:40 am zazen, kaijo (traditional sounds)

7:45 - 8:15 am ceremony

8:20 am   procession

8:30 am genmai (breakfast) + coffee

9:45 am - 12:30 pm samu (collective or individual)

1:00 pm meal taken in silence

2:45 - 5:00 pm samu, teachings, initiations

6:00 pm zazen + kaijo

7:30 pm  informal meal

9:30 pm lights out or individual study time



Monthly rate: 395 euros (sesshin included) / 290 euros ( students, jobless ) - Prices in year 2018

+ annual AZI membership: 45/35 euros

Financial arrangements

If you don't have a regular source of income (retirement benefits, family support, etc.) and still want to stay long-term, it's possible to live at the Gendronnière while working part-time (1-2 days per week) outside of the monastery.

You can also interrupt your stay by few weeks for work.

Morning ceremony at zen tempel La Gendronniere