Zen Retreat at Buddhist House

Buddhist House is hosting a three-day Koan retreat in the Zen tradition with John Tarrant Roshi of the Pacific Zen Institute:

This event and all meals are free and open to the public. No experience necessary, meditation meets you where you are. Koans are traditional paradoxical dialogues aimed at transforming perception and consciousness with humor and grace.

The retreat will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Friday and end at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Everyone is encouraged to come for as much or as little as they would like. We will maintain a formal retreat schedule but intend to allow those who have not experienced retreat to get a flavor of what it is like. You can come just to meditate, just for the talks, for everything, or only for forty five minutes. This retreat, unlike the vast majority of Zen retreats, is free and open to everyone. So please, it is for you, come and join us!!

This retreat is an ideal opportunity to get a feeling for a traditional Zen sesshin on a much more relaxed schedule. If you’ve never sat before and want a sense of what practice can be, this is an ideal framework in which to experience that; if you’re an oldtimer, this is a great way to go deeper.

John Tarrant has many years experiencing teaching lay practitioners, artists, students, and medical students koans and meditation and is known for his sense of humor and lightness in confronting delusion and difficulty. There will be public dialogues and discussion on koans, as well as formal talks. We have been working for a year to arrange this unusual event and we hope you can join us. We will certainly laugh a lot. John’s project has been the re-invirogation of koan practice in the west. He’s also a widely published poet, and an all around awesome dude. (The only Zen teacher to ever call me “dude”, as an aside.) There will also be the opportunity for sanzen, a private meeting with the teacher.

So please join us for part or all of this free retreat! Or just come for the talk and the meals.

We will practice 2pm – 10 pm Friday night (alternating periods of stitting and walking meditation, chanting, etc.), and guests are encouraged to sleep in the meditation hall, so bring a blanket and toothbrush if you want. We will begin again on Saturday at 5 a.m., and go until early evening or later for those who wish. Saturday afternoon will feature a public koan case for discussion. Sunday morning will begin at 5 a.m. and go until around 1 p.m. All meals will be vegetarian, free, and cooked by retreat participants. Tea will be served regularly.

Date: Friday 3/27 – Sunday 3/29
Time: 2 pm Friday – 1 pm Sunday
Place: Buddhist House