Meditation Retreats and Other Extended Sittings


Louisville Zen Center offers Zen meditation retreats and other extended sittings of various lengths conducted in silence with eyes lowered as aids to concentration. Sangha may also participate in sesshin (residential Zen meditation retreats) and other intensive meditation events led by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede and/or his senior students.

Retreat is a cooperative endeavor by a number of people working shoulder-to-shoulder for prolonged periods.  With this sustained effort and support, retreats can heal, strengthen, and unify the mind, body, and emotions to a much greater degree than daily individual or group sitting. Those who have completed the Introduction to Zen Meditation or equivalent are welcome to attend. Participants are simply asked to follow LZC forms and customs and if any of the retreat is held at Heart of Perfect Wisdom Zendo (HPWZ), please also observe the guidelines for practicing there.


​Louisville Zen Center operates as much as possible on dana (or giving).  Your generosity makes events like these possible  Limited scholarships are available for fee-based retreats.


Vesak Zazenkai (Buddha's Birthday Day-long Retreat), Sunday, April 7, 12:30 - 8:30 p.m., at HPWZ (Deadline: Mar. 31)


Buddha Shakyamuni was born in Lumbini Gardens at Kapilvastu, Nepal about 2,500 years ago. Annually, sanghas gather together for ceremonies, devotions, offerings, and festivals in observance of Vesak (Buddha's birthday). Louisville Zen Center will be conducting a day-long silent meditation retreat to honor this very special occasion.

This retreat is geared to participants of all levels and offers an opportunity to deepen meditation practice, engage in noble silence, hear a Zen talk, participate in work practice, and receive individualized guidance and support. Newcomers, beginners, and experienced meditators are invited to attend. Schedule is here.  Seating is limited.  Preference is given to those completing the entire retreat.  If attending part-time, we ask that you arrive/depart during breaks or open practice.  Meals will be provided.  A $15 donation ($10 for students, seniors, and members) is suggested, but no one is turned away for lack of payment.  We gratefully accept cash or checks.  You may also contribute by debit or credit card via Paypal.  Click here to register. 


2-Day Non-Residential Zen Retreat, April 8 - 9, 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., at HPWZ

Non-Residential Zen (NRZ) Retreats are more rigorous and demanding than zazenkai.  These extended sittings include nearly eight hours of formal zazen and kinhin each day with additional time in informal practice highly encouraged. Click here for the NRZ retreat schedule.  This month's retreat, however, will be "Luzu" (Jap. "Roso") style cultivating self-discipline and self-reliance. There will be no introductory orientations, no group instruction, and no individual advising. We'll hear a recorded Zen commentary (teisho) each day but there will be no other Zen talks, little work (samu), and the encouragement stick (kyosaku) will not be offered. Tea and fruit will be available at breaks, but NO meals will be provided. Please bring your own. Meals can be stored in a kitchen cabinet or refrigerator; a microwave is available for reheating.  Sangha may drop in for all or a portion of each day.  Just arrive/depart during breaks or work/rest periods.  Contact the Center to sign up.  Donations greatly appreciated.​

Extended Sitting: Yaza, Thursday, May 2, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., at HPWZ (optional informal sitting at 6 p.m.)

Yaza is a Japanese word for nighttime sitting.  We'll have our regular sitting then a short break before offering optional nighttime sitting that is above and beyond our usual routine.  Those that need to leave at the regular time may do so during the break.  Full schedule will be: 6:30 - 7:50 p.m. – formal sitting, 7:50 - 8:00 p.m. - tea break, 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. - structured yaza.  You may extend your sitting even more by arriving for informal sitting at 6 p.m.  Newcomers, beginners, and experienced meditators are invited.  A $5 donation ($3 for students and seniors) is suggested, but not required.  We gratefully accept cash or checks.  You may also contribute by debit or credit card via Paypal.  No registration required.  Just come.


Cleveland Zazen Group (CZG) Meditation Intensive with Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede, May 9 - 11, at the CZG Zen House


This is our annual retreat with Cleveland Zazen Group and Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede, Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center. The weekend schedule includes zazen, work practice, exercise, silent meals, live teishos (Zen commentaries), and most importantly, dokusan (one-to-one private meetings) with Roshi. As usual LZC sangha will be car-pooling to and from Cleveland and residing in the Zen House or in CZG sangha members' homes unless you make other arrangements.


​Extended Sitting: Yaza, Tuesday, August 20, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., at HPWZ (optional informal sitting at 6 p.m.)

Yaza is a Japanese word for nighttime sitting.  We'll have our regular sitting then a short tea break before offering optional nighttime sitting that is above and beyond our usual routine.  Those that need to leave at the regular time may do so during the break.  Full schedule will be: 6:30 - 7:55 p.m. – formal sitting, 7:55 - 8:05 p.m. - tea break, 8:05 - 8:30 p.m. - structured yaza.  You may extend your sitting even more by arriving for informal sitting at 6 p.m.  Newcomers, beginners, and experienced meditators are invited.  A $5 donation ($3 for students and seniors) is suggested, but not required.  We gratefully accept cash or checks.  You may also contribute by debit or credit card via Paypal.  No registration required.  Just come.