APPLYING FOR SESSHIN

The sesshin application is available on the Center’s website. Feel free to apply late – your application will still be considered if there is room in the sesshin.  If you feel you need to book a flight before the sesshin deadline, you can ask for an early acceptance decision, and we will try to accommodate you.

CANCELLATIONS

A cancellation shortly before sesshin may prevent another member from attending; therefore, except in cases where urgent medical, personal or business circumstances prevent you from attending sesshin, the sesshin contribution will not be returned unless a cancellation is made at least four days before sesshin begins.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Brown sitting robe (please note that loaner robe sizes are limited at Chapin Mill)
  • Raincoat or jacket
  • Wristwatch (not to be worn for formal zazen, but handy for breaks)
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Any necessary toiletries including deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste (keep in mind that scented shampoos and lotions can be distracting to others in the close quarters of the zendo and dormitories)
  • Old clothes for work.  For kitchen work, we ask that you wear close-toed indoor shoes.
  • Soft-soled footwear for the morning outdoor kinhin.
  • Loose clothing for the exercise period (work and exercise clothes should not have words, pictures, or distracting patterns or artwork on them, and very short or tight shorts, and tank tops are not appropriate)
  • Dark socks (white socks are not to be worn in the zendo).

You may also want to bring a pair of slip-on shoes for quick trips outside, and, in summer, insect repellent and a swimsuit for swimming after sesshin. Keep in mind that weather in the Rochester area often fluctuates wildly over the course of sesshin. For cold-weather sesshins, be sure to bring warm clothing. The zendo is heated to 60° F.

If you bring a cell phone, turn it off for the duration of sesshin. If you are taking prescription medications, you may keep a container of water in your room for taking them. Do not be tempted to change your medications or reduce dosages for sesshin unless your doctor recommends it.

To help cut down on post-sesshin laundry, if you are coming by car, please bring your own bed linen or sleeping bag (and pillow if you wish). Zen Center sheets and blankets are available for people who are flying.

EMERGENCY CONTACT

The emergency contact number is 585-343-5684. Sesshin monitors check messages at least five times a day. The person calling needs to leave his or her name and number in the message, as the monitors may need to call back to clarify the situation. One of the treasures of sesshin is the almost total removal from daily cares, so the monitors do not lightly interrupt a participant’s concentration.

For that reason, please talk to your spouse and/or other family members who may need to contact you in an emergency. Make sure they know that they should not hesitate to call in case of a true emergency, but also that they should carefully consider the urgency of the message. If it is feasible to wait until the end of sesshin, that would be preferable. It may help to discuss different types of emergencies with them and when you would or would not like to be contacted. The time spent in sesshin is a rare opportunity for seclusion and silence, which is especially important if you can attend only one or two a year.

 

Revised 4/22