Photo of participants after sesshin

Sesshins (Zen meditation retreats held in silence and seclusion) are offered about once a month at the Rochester Zen Center. They vary in length from two to seven days.

What to Know Before Applying to Sesshin

Sesshins are rigorous, demanding a great deal of the sitter.  About ten hours of formal zazen are scheduled each day, and more hours of informal zazen are encouraged.  Unless you’re unusually flexible you can expect to have to work with some physical, mental, and emotional pain.

  • Anyone who has been to an introductory workshop at the Rochester Zen Center or an affiliate may apply.
  • It is advisable to sit regularly at home (and at a Center if possible) before applying to sesshin.
  • It’s best for beginners to start by participating in an extended sitting before applying to a 2- or 4-day sesshin. You may also apply to attend just the beginning of a longer sesshin–for example, the first two or four days of a seven-day sesshin.

Click on the links below to learn more about Rochester Zen Center sesshins.

In-Person Sesshin

Online Sesshin