zen enso La Gendronnière

Spirit of Gesture" Retreat - Fall 2019 - meditation and workshops

With zen master Hugues Yusen Naas



(Sumi-e, Kesa sewing, Workshop for children, The 34 Sounds of Zen, Yoga, Shadow Theatre, Raku - Introduction to ceramics, Permaculture, Jin Shin Jyutsu) - from October 26 to 30, 2019

Arrival Workshops: Friday 25 October in the afternoon. Dinner at 8:30.

7h00 Zazen

9h30-12h00 Workshops

12h30 meal

14h30-17h Workshops

18h Zazen

19h30 meal

Departure: For those who come to the workshops only, on Thursday 31 October after breakfast.

For those who stay, rest day October 31.

SESSHIN ( zen meditation's retreat ) - from 1 to 3 november 2019

Arrival of sesshin on Thursday 31 October in the afternoon, dinner at 20.30.

Sesshin ends on Sunday 3 November after lunch.

Online registration : HERE

Spirit of the gesture

The spirit of the gesture, being awake, staying awake, being vigilant.

This vigilance (from the Latin vigilare, vigilo: "I am awake") is the spirit of zazen and its continuation in daily life: to let thoughts pass, to be totally present in action at every moment.

The spirit of the gesture is also to stop discriminating, attributing importance or neglecting this or that. Understand that there are no small or big things, but that everything is important in our lives, that everything deserves our attention, here and now.

The workshops that will be proposed to you will encourage you to deepen the spirit of the gesture in an educational and playful way. Through practice, they will allow everyone to realize that this spirit is not the fruit of an activity or the learning of a technique, but that beyond the techniques, beyond the aspect, the form and the non-form, the spirit of the gesture can be manifested in all the circumstances of our life - noble or trivial, vast or minute. For the spirit of the gesture is the spirit itself.

As it is written in the Dhammapada, the Says of the Buddha: "Vigilance is the eternal way; Neglect is the mortal way. He who is vigilant does not die; But he who is not present, not conscious, That one is almost already dead. »

Practice of the Buddha's way

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

Hugues Yusen Naas

Hugues Yusen Naas was born in Strasbourg in 1952. He has practiced zazen since 1975 and was ordained a monk in 1977 by Master Deshimaru, whom he followed until his death. He taught Dharma for twenty-five years at the Zen Dojo in Strasbourg. In 2009 he received the transmission of the Dharma from Master Dôkô Raphaël Triet. From the summer of 2002 until the summer of 2016, he was in charge of the Gendronnière Zen temple, ensuring the follow-up of maintenance, improvement work, the organization of the daily life of the residents, as well as the reception of sesshins and groups. He also taught in the dojo. He then left Gendronnière to found the Centre zen du Perche - Daishugyoji, which he now manages by chairing the Daishugyo Zen association. He also directs sesshins (Zen retreats) in France and abroad.


Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu, literally "The Art of the Creator through Man of Knowledge and Compassion", is an ancient Japanese energy art based on an in-depth knowledge of vital energy circuits and how to harmonize them. It is a soft art of touch on the other or on oneself which requires neither massage nor manipulation and which acts powerfully at all levels by simple contact of the fingers over the clothes. Used regularly, it promotes self-knowledge and actively contributes to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance.

This workshop is intended for all those who want to be well and offers the opportunity to experience this practice directly on oneself and its concrete effects of transformation. During these five days, everyone will be guided to gradually learn to lay hands on themselves in the appropriate places and thus discover and repeat the basic sequences so that they can be integrated into the daily life of whoever wishes at the end of the course. These five days will also allow us to discover the energetic foundations of this practice but especially the Spirit behind the gestures.

The teacher: Marie Ravet, passionate about the human being and consciousness, practices zazen since 1995. She has over thirty years of professional experience in the field of listening and touch and has dedicated herself exclusively to the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu since 2010. Enabled by Jin Shin Jyutsu International Inc. she teaches "self-help" and receives individual sessions in Génissac (33) and Paris (15°).


Zazen is the art of immobility, but often the practitioner is carried away by his internal movements and sinks into torpor or gets lost in mental agitation. Yoga is the art of movement, but it leads many practitioners to a superficial attachment to body health and well-being. Explore the mind-body movements at the heart of motionless sitting; find the path that has no form - Shakti dancing under the eye of Shiva in India, Huineng's poem in response to the fifth patriarch in China... we will explore this path through asanas and pranayama.

Teacher: Yorgos Fokianos began practicing hatha yoga in 1997 during his studies in theatre and dance. Ten years later, he learned in New York with Cyndi Lee how to teach and has since worked as a trainer in Germany and Greece. He studied deeply the ashtanga vinyasa system, to move with the consciousness of breathing, and also the anusara system, to work with precision and compassion. His discovery of zazen in 2011 obviously changed his life and also his views on yoga, in a non-dualistic and even more precise direction.

Raku - Introduction's course ceramic

The time of a bowl, trace the genesis of the earth that provides us with raw materials to leave our mark and mark history. An ephemeral grain of sand in a world in motion, this granite became sandstone over millions of years and then became a bowl, cup, in a few days according to creativity and human needs.

Let's take a "rakurci" for one session, and come experiment the various types of shaping (modelling, plate, tower, stamping), discover the world of enamels and perform a raku firing, while enjoying an introduction to the phenomena that make up the world of the earthworker.

The teacher : After a passage at the Gendronnière, Cécile Bardenet went to learn ceramics. As she meets people and travels, she continues to go a little further in this link with the earth and man. Now installed as a ceramist in the east of France, she works stoneware to shape utilitarian objects and develop the work of high temperature enamel (1 300 °C) while remaining linked to the world of Zen.


Sumi-e originated in China and was introduced into Japan by Zen monks more than five centuries ago.

The Japanese term “sumi” means “black ink” and “e” means “painting”. It indicates one of the art forms in which subjects are painted with black ink in all possible gradations ranging from pure black to the lightest shades achieved by diluting the ink  with water. In order to paint, we only need a brush, a black ink tablet, a stone (suzuri) and  a  sheet  of  rice paper.

This way of painting is complete, it involves the whole body. It is not easy at all and working with an expert teacher is necessary, as well as getting used to repeating subjects, or parts of them, innumerable times. The spirit becomes more and more refined and sensitive through constant repetition.

Everyone whatever their level, interested or curious to experiment this "old" oriental approach, will find a new and spontaneous way of artistic expression.

Thanks to a correct and relaxed posture which influences a deeper breathing, the coordination and the fluidity of the gestures improves. Sumi-e is not the learning of a simple painting method. It is the direct contact with our essential being, Buddha nature, beyond "doing" or "not doing". Life created by the touch of the brush strengthens Life itself.

Participation to the workshop (brushes, ink, paper and rice paper) : 25 €

The teacher : Beppe Mokuza Signoritti, Zen monk, disciple of Roland Yuno Rech, has been practicing sumi-e for about twenty years. He exhibits and gives lectures and practical demonstrations throughout Europe. www.sumi-e.co.uk

Shadow Theatre

Shadow theatre is a very ancient art that first appeared in China in the 5th century BC and was originally of a religious nature.
Myths, tales and legends, as well as some fantastic modern narratives, are populated by half-human, half-animal, half-vegetative, half-divine creatures. What better way to tell the story of these mysterious transformations than in shadow theatre? We will explore the theme of metamorphosis through shadow theatre, a technique similar to mime, dance and the stylized play of Eastern theatres, which is practiced behind a screen. Specific warm-ups, theatre and expression games, work on the mask (design and use) as well as studies on the possibilities of playing with light and on the composition of an image will be proposed.
This course is open to people who have never done theatre before (the presence of the screen allows the most shy people to express themselves without feeling too exposed). You can come with a text/story on the proposed theme. From the age of 12.

The teacher: Blanche Heugel, a Zen nun and Zen practitioner for more than twenty years, is a professional actress and puppeteer. For several years now, she has been developing work on shadow theatre, in shows (Les 7 Vies d'Alexandra David-Néel) and educational workshops for children, teenagers and adults. http://blanche-heugel.fr


Children's workshop

During this internship, we will explore the world of Zen Buddhism through poetry and tales, mythical legends that date back to the time of the ancient Buddhas and that have been carefully passed down through the generations. These stories illustrate aspects of Zen through humour and the unexpected, and are therefore particularly accessible to children... We invite them to bring their poems!

The teacher: Magali Naas has been a theatre teacher since 2005. The Steiner school and training at the conservatory in the United States have enabled her to enrich her artistic palette. Today, with her partner Mark, she has a small theatre and music school near the Centre zen du Perche, run by Hugues Naas.

Song, breath and voice

"The workshop is centred around singing, the discovery of the voice. I propose a playful vocal work in order to better tame its timbre, its breathing, with the aim of less vocal fatigue. I accompany the songs with the piano, and for the songs of the world I use an Indian instrument, the tempura. This workshop leads to "letting your body sing" through improvisation. These moments bring us back to the present moment, to the beauty of sound and our soul. The sound itself is liberating. We can observe a beneficial effect for the person and therefore talk about therapy. "

The teacher: Sarah Trutet, a qualified music and art therapy teacher, offers workshops and singing workshops open to all. She also teaches singing and piano. As a songwriter, she is part of the duo Crista Galli and has composed several CDs.

The 34 Sounds of Zen

Over time, the Buddha's path has developed through various forms. In the Soto Zen tradition, these are all placed at the service of spiritual realization. Thus the life of the dojos, temples and monasteries is notably punctuated by codified sounds which are each time the occasion of a concrete experience, as much for the person who produces them as for the person who hears them. In this workshop, you can learn or perfect the practice of these sounds: wood, metal, drum, mokugyo, various gongs and bells, without forgetting the singing of sutras. You will put the teachings into practice by coaching the Spirit of Gesture session throughout the day. What then to make benefit your group of zazen according to the place and the demand!

The teacher : Michel Jigen Fabra, Zen monk, disciple of master Roland Yuno Rech, created the Carpentras dojo in 2002 and directed it for seven years, before going to the Gendronnière Zen temple, where he held the functions of shuso and ino (responsible for sounds) for five years. In August 2014, he received the transmission (shiho) from Master Yuno Rech. He is currently responsible for teaching at the Poitiers dojo.


Kesa sawing's class

Sewing the kesa is the Buddha's way, like zazen.

Concentrated, moment after moment, on each point by observing our work without judgment, in respect of the tradition transmitted by Master Deshimaru, we carry out point after point, with patience and determination, the assembly of the parts of the kesa with inner joy and serenity.

All together, in the silence of our practice, unconsciously, naturally, automatically, we realize our unity with all things.

The teacher: Catherine Cordier was ordained a Zen nun by Master Deshimaru. She has been practicing and teaching kesa sewing for many years during the sesshins and workshops of the Gendronnière, as well as in the dojos.


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 earth. 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". Teaching and applying 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 in the vegetable garden.

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

Samu Workshop

Samu, the generous action essential to the life of the community and the good behaviour 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.


Registration and Prices

WORKSHOP    Room 4-5      359 euros /   Room 2 persons  431 euros  / Single room ( selon disponibilité ) 530 euros

CHILDREN 180 euros par enfant

WORKSHOP " the 34 sounds of zen " Room 4-5   283 euros / Room 2 persons  339 euros / Single room ( selon disponibilité ) 417 euros

ATELIER SAMU    Room 4-5      98 euros /   Room 2 persons    117 euros

SESSHIN    Room 4-5    121 euros / Romm 2 persons   151 euros     / Single room ( selon disponibilité ) 179 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.


• Online : HERE

• Information : 02 54 44 04 86 ou lagendronniere@zen-azi.org

Temple zen de la Gendronnière

41120 Valaire (près de Blois)