Upper Valley Zen Center, based in White River Junction, is hosting a four day December “Rohatsu” retreat with Zen teacher Sandy Gentei Stewart, December 6-9 in Hanover New Hampshire.
Rohatsu commemorates the Buddha’s awakening with renewed resolve to engage in practice towards our own awakening.
Area residents will have the opportunity to train in Rinzai Zen practice with one of North American’s most experienced Zen teachers. Stewart began his studies with Rinzai Zen Master Joshu Sasaki in 1968 and was ordained as an Osho or Zen teacher in 1971.
“Sandy is an old friend —one of Joshu Sasaki
's first American students,” said Gendo Allyn
Field, lay monk and teacher at the Upper Valley Zen Center. “He brings a wealth of experience, a background in studies of Buddhist texts and languages, a skillful intuition and a welcoming presence to the practice of Zen.” Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen was one of Saski's best know students.
“Gendo and Gentei are special teachers for me,” said Ka Rin, a practitioner who attended last year’s retreat in the Upper Valley with Stewart. “On the last night, we were surprised with a fire outside by the pond with the sky a mosaic of starlight so brilliantly appearing. We then broke noble silence to speak of edgy jokes, share stories, and sing old songs. A very close hearted sesshin (retreat) in the wildernesses of it all.”
The retreat is held in a historic house near Moose Mountain in Hanover—isolated yet comfortable. It will involve periods of silent meditation, outdoor walking (weather permitting), both group and individual guidance with Stewart, formal meals (vegetarian, silent), as well as work periods and free time for exploring the surrounding woods.
"Meditation and mindfulness are often seen as means of self-improvement," Gendo says. "A Zen retreat is an immersion experience, an exploration of identity itself, beyond what is generally possible in short periods of meditation." People who are unfamiliar with Zen practice are welcome to attend an "Intro to Zen" at the Upper Valley Zen Center, 58 Bridge St., WRJ, VT, Wednesdays, to 7 pm.
Click here for more information or to register for the retreat. Deadline to register is November 1.
A historic home in Hanover is the site of a Zen retreat