This year, Confluence Zen Center STL will be holding its annual Rohatsu Sesshin from December 5th to the 11th.

For those who don’t know zen practice, a sesshin is an intensive meditation retreat where one sits zazen all day for one week with intervening meals, rest periods, sutra chanting, services, and work. The last day of the sesshin is a half day of meditation and ceremonies. Meals are eaten in the formal style known as oryoki and is a wonderful learning experience and a practice of zazen in itself.

Wikipedia has more information about sesshins here.

Normally, larger zen centers and monasteries have more than one, but Confluence does one to celebrate Rohatsu. In Buddhism, Rohatsu is the day traditionally celebrated as the day that the Buddha was fully enlightened. Rohatsu literally means the 8th Day of the 12th month, and this is the day in the western calendar that it falls upon. Monasteries and zen centers will celebrate this by having a sesshin that ends on the day of Rohatsu itself. Many centers however will start or end or have it fall in the in the middle of the sesshin, such as this year’s. Normally this is because of necessities of layperson’s schedules.

While the sesshin lasts for a week, there is no requirement that our practitioners spend the entire time practicing. In fact, for beginners, this is usually not a good idea. Therefore, you may attend as much or as little as you would like and is comfortable for you. We welcome partial day or full day practitioners.

The schedule for each day of sesshin is posted below.

If you wish to attend the sesshin, please email the center to let us plan meals and space accordingly. If you wish to attend for a whole day or attend an oryoki meal, also please let us know for the same reason.

More information will be posted as we get closer to the date of the sesshin.

We hope to see you there!