Beginner’s Mind Sesshin, Sept 30 – Oct 2
Beginner’s Mind Sesshin, Sept 30 – Oct 2

Beginner’s Mind Sesshin, Sept 30 – Oct 2

Beginner’s Mind Sesshin

Students meditating at GPZC
Students meditating at GPZC.

Beginner’s Mind Sesshin takes place Friday night, September 30 through Sunday morning, October 2. You are invited to come and sit together for the entire retreat or any part of it.  Beginner’s Mind Sesshin are typically held in March and September. They are especially geared for those who have limited or no prior retreat experience. The schedule is lighter than a typical sesshin and instruction in the various elements of sesshin are given throughout the day.  The day consists of periods of zazen interspersed with ten minutes of walking meditation (kinhin), chanting services, meals, work period and rest.  These are ideal sesshin for those attending their first retreat and are popular with experienced practitioners as well.


Important update:  GPZC now requires that anyone attending in person take a rapid antigen test (home test is fine) within 24 hours prior to arriving at this sesshin and only attend in person if the result is negative.  

All other COVID precautions remain in effect:

  • We are requiring that anyone attending in person be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and require proof of vaccination. We strongly recommend also having the booster shot, but do not require it.
  • Anyone with a medical contraindication for the COVID vaccine (or booster, should we require it in the future) can provide proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to attendance in lieu of the vaccine.
  • Participants will be seated in the zendo at least 6 feet apart and asked to maintain distance during kinhin, services, and lunch.
  • Masks must be worn indoors except when eating, sleeping, or if you are the only person staying in a room and have the door closed. We have very limited single rooms available. If you are uncomfortable sharing a room with others, we’ll let you know what other options are available, such as a motel room.
  • Participants must sit at designated spots for meals and eat in silence.
  • In-person participants must wear N95, KN95 or KF94 grade masks and will be provided with one if they do not bring one.
  • Participants must wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer when handling shared equipment and wipe surfaces with disinfectant after use as appropriate.
  • Please do not attend the retreat in person if you are ill and/or have any symptoms (COVID-related or not) that indicate a possible contagious illness.

Part-time participation will be prorated and scholarships are available for any who need them. As always, we encourage those who are able to donate an additional amount for the retreat to help us keep retreats affordable for everyone. Participants will receive instructions, a detailed schedule, and Zoom access information after registering. The cost of this retreat is different for online and in person participation.  Cost details will be shown on the event registration form.To participate in this event, please complete our Event Registration Form by no later than Monday, September 26.