Sesshins, zen retreats

meditation and contemplation

In zen buddhism, retreats are called sesshins. Le mot signifie textuellement "toucher l'esprit " ( voir enseignement ci-dessous )During a sesshin, the focus is on sitting meditation. It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of zen spirituality.
Beginners are always welcome and receive special attention.

The days follow a strict schedule, alternating between zazen, ceremonies, samu and meals, usually taken in silence. This structure allows the participants to let themselves be guided; freed from the necessity of organizing their life, they can put all their energy into zazen.

Certified teachers provide the teaching during the sesshins and can answer your questions during mondos (question and answer periods) to help you further your understanding of Zen Buddhism. Sesshins last on average 2 to 9 days.

You can find a list of upcoming sesshins HERE ( lien )

Informations pratiques ( lien )

A teaching from zen master Evelyne Reiko de Smedt

Ses: to touch, to unite
Shin: heart, mind
Sesshin means, then, to touch directly, to become intimate with the Mind, with original Mind, with the Buddha-nature that exists in all of us, but which is often concealed by troublesome thinking and emotions. These obfuscations are the fruit of long-term conditioning.
Awakening ourselves to the real nature of our body-mind, uncovered when our ignorance dissipates, is the core of all spiritual practice.
During retreats, we can experience everyday Zen teaching through the four types of action: walking, standing, sitting and lying down. This means that all things are Zen practice.
During a sesshin, every act is the continuation of zazen. Beyond our personal consciousness, we follow the day’s program, focused on each act indicated by the sounds, living each moment fully.
This is how body and mind rediscover true peace. It is the return to the original state, the realization of true freedom."

VIDEO filmed during a winter retreat at the Gendronnière

Presentation: La Gendronnière is the Zen Buddhist temple founded by Master Taisen Deshimaru Roshi in 1979. Every year at the end of December a spiritual retreat (sesshin) takes place with an emphasis on meditation. The daily schedule includes rising at dawn, taking meals in silence, practising zazen and hearing teachings. The participants can therefore experience calm and silence. On New year’s eve, each practitioner is invited to sound the large bell of the temple and to make a wish for the New Year. Beginners are granted a special coaching
A film by Philipp Funk