spiritual retreat zen

Zen retreat " Arts and Health " - april 2019

With master Simone Jiko Wolf


WORKSHOPS  ( Shomyo and sound creation, Reflexology and massage, Calligraphy and poetry, Yoga et Qi-Gong, Ceramic Raku, Kesa sawing class, Permaculture ) - from 13th to 21th april 2019

Arrival Workshops :

Friday, April 12 in the afternoon. Dinner at 8:30 pm.

7:00 Zazen

9:30-12:00 Workshops

12:30 pm meal

14h30-17h Workshops

6pm Zazen

19:30 Meals

Every evening after the meal there will be a conference or workshop presentation. The last evening (Wednesday, April 17): presentation of the works and festive meal.

Departure: For people who only came to the workshops, on Thursday, April 18 after breakfast.

For those who remain, rest day on April 18.
Online registration for the workshops: HERE

SESSHIN ( zen meditation's retreat ) - from 19th at 21th of april 2019

Arrival of sesshin on Thursday afternoon, April 18, dinner at 8:30 pm.

Sesshin ends on Sunday, April 21 after lunch and tidying up the temple.
Online registration for sesshin  : HERE

The Arts and Health Retreat

Based on exchange and openness to discovery, the workshops are led by several teachers whose skills and approaches complement and enrich each other. The participants will thus benefit from 5 days of very dense workshop while being carried by the rhythm of the daily life of the temple and the teaching of Zen.

Zazen, the buddha Way

Zazen is the sitting meditation without object, as practiced by the Buddha and transmitted through time by an unbroken line of masters. It is the recollection in the silence and nakedness of the present moment. It is a return to what is "before" the thought unfolds to try to grasp what simply is.

This is done effortlessly when attention simply returns to what is presence. The time of meditation escapes time itself because it is a return to the still source of our existence. When the original source is seen, each breath, each action, each movement spontaneously becomes the luminous expression of life itself, and the duality between subject and object disappears.

During the five days of the workshops, zazen will be practiced in the morning and late afternoon.

Simone Jiko Wolf

Disciple of Master Taisen Deshimaru, Master Jiko Wolf received the Dharma transmission from Yuko Okamoto Roshi. She is the Abbess of the Kosetsu-Ji Temple in Switzerland and regularly directs sesshins and internships at the Temple de la Gendronnière. She organized this session and will be responsible for the teaching and general organization.


Workshop "From Shomyo... to sound creation "

Shomyo singing... A workshop to introduce you to Japanese Shomyo Buddhist song, which dates back to the 9th century. Due to its slow and melismatic style, participants will be encouraged to focus on their breathing in a silent way. While singing basic shomyo melodies and meeting this ancient tradition, they will be led to discover the wisdom and power of the breath, as well as its essence for humanity.

Junko Ueda: Born in Tokyo, studied Shomyo Buddhist singing with Kôshin Ebihara (Tendai school). Based in Europe, she gives many concerts and conferences and leads workshops to discover this tradition. From the awareness of your breath and your hara energy center, you will develop vocalization and enrich the group with your own vocal qualities.

... to sound creation... This musical workshop is open to all, musicians or not, without any notion of music theory. It will allow you to create your own sound expression based on your sensitivity to space and time. Everyone will bring their energy and inventiveness to the group, in order to let an original common work emerge, sometimes written, sometimes improvised

Hubert Dennefeld: Violinist and conductor, he now directs a madrigal choir in Strasbourg, which performs in France and Europe. He will put at your disposal his qualities as musical director and teacher, to create a musical spark in you that you may not have suspected!

Raku - ceramic course

This ceramic cooking technique flourished in Japan from the 16th century, it is closely linked to Zen philosophy and the tea ceremony. In harmony with the spirit of the ceremony, the ceramics are simple and of natural beauty, without sophistication, the result is always unique. Raku cooking is fast, it celebrates the random, the unique and the moment, while requiring a rigorous and precise process. It allowed everyone to participate in the cooking of their bowl and to inaugurate it immediately for the tea ceremony.

During this workshop, participants will get in touch with the material, to shape shapes and volumes according to their personal inspirations and research. The pieces will be engraved, painted (calligraphy), or polished, and after a first firing, the enamel can be applied before the Raku firing (950°C). The parts will be removed incandescent from the furnace and placed in fuels (straw, wood chips, leaves, etc.) which will ignite instantly to obtain the smoke. Due to thermal shock, cracks will appear in the enamel. This technique also enhances the metallic oxide-laden enamels by producing metallic chandeliers.

Barbara Weibel: Ceramist Barbara Weibel was trained at the Heimberg Pottery Centre and the School of Applied Arts in Bern, Switzerland. Study trips and artistic residencies in Japan, India, Nepal, Mexico and Egypt have nourished his know-how and artistic inspiration over the years. Since 1986, she has been practicing the Raku technique and her ceramics reflect important research on shapes and colours to achieve balance and harmony in relation to nature. Its simple and elegant objects offer interesting formal variations around the theme of the sea and the art of calligraphy.


Inspired by the laws of nature to grow our food is the proposal of permaculture. The care that the tenzo (cook) takes with food is preceded by the care of the gardener for the soil. To harmonize with all beings is to harmonize with nature. Inspired by the Zen spirit, Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer and pioneer of permaculture, developed his natural methods based on "non-action". The teaching and application of these principles will be the content of this gardening workshop. Between training and activities (samu), we will explore how to update the way in the daily gestures of the vegetable garden.

The teacher: Raimund Olbrich is a Zen monk, gardener and market gardener. He was in charge of the Gendronnière vegetable garden for several years. Since 2018, he has been working on it again as part of the "permaculture project".

From calligraphy... to poetry

From calligraphy....

A Zen calligraphy workshop invites you to bring to life the slowness of the gesture, by developing concentration and presence. On the silent material of the paper, the ink flow settles peacefully, in a wide line linked to the breath. Cursive imprints of the unified hand and mind, of the harmonized act and thought.

Inès Dôshin Igelnick, a Zen nun and calligrapher, is a student of the calligraphy master Ung No Lee. President of the Calligraphis workshop, rue Visconti in Paris, she teaches and transmits this art of fluidity and immobility. Beyond the limited thought, it invites you to enter into the gesture, moment after moment, so that life becomes the trait, itself an extension of oneself.

... to poetry...

A poetic writing workshop to draw from within and around you, the words of your presence in the world, at the source of the essential. From the invisible, beyond the visible. Celebrate nature, the moment, harmony around themes that create our lives, different and interdependent.

Claire Raffenne, art historian and poetess, attentive to all forms of beauty, leads you to draw from your sensitivity and gratitude, the most appropriate words to express the ephemeral immensity of each moment of life. Together, with the energy and sharing of the group, you will develop a poetic writing, in the short and concentrated form of haiku.

Samu practice

Samu : the generous action essential to the life of the community and the good conduct of the temple for the benefit of all.

For those who wish to donate their energy to the Sangha and the temple, it is the possibility to participate in the organization of the session (service, cleaning...) according to needs.

Sewing the Kesa

Sewing the kesa means making the Buddha's clothing according to the method transmitted from Shakyamuni. Abandoning any desire for decoration or personal innovation, we focus on each step and each point, with patience and determination. Unconsciously, naturally and automatically this practice changes our minds. From our efforts is born the pure garment of the Dharma and we realize the highest dimension of creativity. Master Kodo Sawaki said: "The kesa is the fabric that becomes Buddha."

The teachers: Françoise Kosen Laurent and Tina Chinmyo Feller, Zen nuns, have been practicing and teaching kesa sewing for many years, in dojos and sesshins, and more particularly at the Gendronnière.

Reflexology et other massage technics

With Noëlle Weyeneth, who holds, among other things, the Eunice Ingham/Doreen Bayly Reflexology Certificate, Director of the Bayly Reflexology Club in Switzerland and instructor of Touch for Health (Health by Touch), you can learn the basics of reflexology, a technique based on the concept that the entire body is represented on the surface of both feet and on the hands. You can also discover some simple techniques for yourself and your loved ones. In particular the "5 points and that's all" method, "self-massage of hands" at all times and in all places, "Dien cham" (reflex points to be massaged on the face), "the Mexican points technique" (gentle rebalancing to be done in a person under stress).

In this workshop, Noëlle Weyeneth will be assisted by Magali Doko, former student and qualified reflexologist. Magali Doko is a Zen nun, a disciple of Jiko Simone Wolf

The shiatsu workshop "communication and fluidity" will be led by Annagrazia Nicolai, a Zen practitioner. Annagrazia has been practicing shiatsu since 1998. Graduated in 2003 from the Accademia Italiana Shiatsu-Do, founded by Claudio Lucio Parolin in Milan following Masunaga's style. In this workshop, we will learn the basics of shiatsu so that we can experience it as part of his family and knowledge.


From Integral Yoga to Qi-Gong

Integral yoga...

Discover the benefits of yoga in all its aspects, adapted to each and everyone:

- Practice comfortable and effective postures, conducive to the realization of our original nature.

- To meet consciousness and presence both in movement and in immobility.

- To live and share every moment, every day, in peace, peace and joy in oneself, around oneself and in relation to the universe.

Hélène Shandra: She has been practicing yoga since she was a child, in India and around the world. Yoga teacher. In her teachings, she relies not only on the Indian tradition, but also on Zen, kinomichi, calligraphy,... to deepen her practice of integral yoga.

... to Qi-Gong

Qi Gong, "developing and cultivating energy", is a thousand-year-old Chinese art in which body and mind work together. It consists of slow, flexible movements synchronized with breathing and concentration on the body. These movements allow a better circulation of vital energy and bring calm and serenity but also vitality.

Dedicated to spring Qi Gong, this workshop is aimed at beginners and advanced students alike. It will allow us to learn how to harmonize our internal rhythm with that of nature and spring, in a setting conducive to rejuvenation.

Doka Florence Scherrer: Zen nun, disciple of Jiko Simone Wolf, Qi Gong teacher trained at the European Qi Gong Institute.

Registration and rates

WORKSHOPS    Room 4-5      359 euros /   Room à 2    431 euros  / Room individuelle ( selon disponibilité ) 530 euros

WORKSHOP " Kesa sawing, permaculture " Room 4-5   283 euros / Room à 2   339 euros / Room individuelle ( selon disponibilité ) 417 euros

SESSHIN ( zen meditation retreat )    Room 4-5    121 euros / Chambre à 2   151 euros     / Room individuelle ( selon disponibilité ) 185 euros

WORKSHOP SAMU Chambre 4-5      98 euros /   Room à 2    117 euros 


• Parental authorisation is necessary for minors.

• Membership of the association AZI is obligatory : 45 euros (35 euros those with limited ressources).

• Animals not allowed.


Temple zen de la Gendronnière
41120 Valaire (near Blois)