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 our guiding teachers and/or their senior students at Rochester Zen Center.

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 our forms and customs, as well as Heart of Perfect Wisdom Zendo (HPWZ) guidelines if the retreat is happening there.  If you are attending virtually, click here for information about preparing for a virtual extended sit.

​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. Giving guidelines may be different for Rochester Zen Center retreats.


Rochester Zen Center Online Extended Sitting, 6:15 am - 3:00 pm, November 21, 2021

Louisville Zen Center's mother temple, Rochester Zen Center (RZC), hosts online extended sittings via Zoom.  In addition to hearing a live teisho or Dharma talk there will also be an opportunity for one-to-one instruction with an RZC senior student. Check RZC's extended sitting page for how to arrange private instruction.  Contact Trueman at RZC or Jeanette at LZC for Zoom access.  Here's the sitting schedule:

6:15 am - Zazen
7:30 am - Breakfast     
8:30 am - Zazen & Dharma talk
~10:15 am - Mid-morning tea break     
11:00 am - Zazen
12:45 pm - Lunch     
1:30 pm - Zazen
3:00 pm - end with the Four Vows

You can extend this schedule to be the equivalent of a 1-day sesshin by also attending Louisville Zen Center's regular Sunday evening sitting 6:30-7:55 pm.

​​Rochester Zen Center 7-day Hybrid Sesshin led by Sensei John Pulleyn, November 6-13, 2021

Sesshins (Zen meditation retreats held in silence and seclusion) are offered about once a month at Louisville Zen Center's mother temple, Rochester Zen Center.  They vary in length from two to seven days. About ten hours of formal zazen is done each day, and more hours of informal zazen are encouraged. One-to-one instruction is offered three times daily. As sesshins are rigorous, demanding a great deal of the sitter, it is advisable to be sitting regularly at home and with a group (in-person or virtually) before applying. 

Part-timers are welcome, but if you want one-to-one instruction you must attend at least two of the four blocks of sitting including one in which instruction is offered.  Here is the daily schedule.  Here's how to set up for online sesshin and here is the application and fee information.

Hybrid Weekend Meditation Intensive led by Sensei John Pulleyn, October 29-31, 2021

This annual, collaboration of Cleveland Zazen GroupRochester Zen Center, and Louisville Zen Center will be led by Sensei John Pulleyn, Co-Spiritual Director of Rochester Zen Center.  If you are fully vaccinated you may participate in-person; any/all can participate on Zoom for all or part of this event.

Appropriate for both beginners and seasoned practitioners, this retreat includes zazen (sitting meditation) and kinhin (walking meditation), daily teisho (Zen commentary) by John-sensei, silent meals for in-person participants, and most importantly, dokusan (private, one-to-one guidance) from Sensei. 

Retreat fee is $75 full time in-person (which covers meals and dana for Sensei). Full time virtual is $50 and part-time is "please donate what you can." No one will be denied participation for financial reasons so don't let that stop you from joining in.  

Below is the basic schedule (Eastern Time) which may be revised based on final review by John-sensei. Contact Cleveland Zazen Group leader, Susan Rakow, at for a registration form or download form here.

Friday, October 29
7-9:30 p.m. Orientation, Zazen with dokusan

Saturday, October 30
7:00 a.m.-8:45 a.m. Zazen with dokusan
8:45-10:00 a.m. Breakfast and break
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Zazen, Teisho, and Posture Clinic/Demo
1:00-2:30 p.m. Lunch and break
2:30-4:30 p.m. Zazen, dokusan, and chanting. 
4:30-6:45 p.m. Dinner and Break
7:00-9:20 p.m. Zazen with dokusan

Sunday, October 31
7:00 a.m.-8:45 a.m. Zazen with dokusan
8:45-9:45 a.m. Shorter breakfast and break
10:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Zazen with teisho and closing words
12:30-1:30 Brunch at Rakows' (optional)