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Tanjo-e Sesshin 2018

Tanjo-e Sesshin 2018

Led by Michael Newhall

Sitting meditation is the gateway to total liberation.
— Eihei Dogen

Sesshin is translated to mean “Embracing Mind”. For seven days you’re invited to dive deeply into silence, meditation, and mindfulness. This is an opportunity for both new & seasoned meditators to practice side-by-side. For people new to Zen this is the chance to engage with an experienced teacher and establish a regular Zazen (sitting) practice.

During a period of seven days you will learn and practice through the timeless traditions of sitting meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), mindful eating (oryoki), and mindful work (samu).  All of these are designed to extend the practice of zazen beyond the meditation cushion and into our everyday embodied experience.

Daily tea and dharma talks will be led by a teacher and you’ll also have the opportunity for a private one-on-one meeting (dokusan).

This particular sesshin falls during the time of year when the birth of Buddhism’s founder, Gautama Siddhartha, is celebrated. The retreat will end on Sunday at the beginning of the Buddha’s Birth Celebration. A ceremony will be performed and lunch will be served. All sesshin guests are invited to stay and attend.


All food is vegetarian and prepared by the head of kitchen known as the Tenzo. Meals during sesshin will be served oryoki-style in the dining hall of the Jikoji Community Building. Oryoki is an integral part of the sesshin experience and an extension of our Zendo forms. If you need to learn oryoki instructions please indicate so on the registration form.  Instructions will be provided either Friday or Saturday morning before our first Oryoki meal. You can also learn the basics by watching a video and reading instructions supplied here: . For a complete list of meal times please see the schedule.


Jikoji offers separate female and male dormitory style beds with shared bathrooms. If you have any special needs please let us know through the registration form. Bedding and linens are provided, but you are encouraged to bring a sleeping bag/extra blankets and pillow.

What to bring

  • Comfortable loose-fitting clothes good for sitting for long hours (ideally without logos and slogans)
  • A warm sweater and other warm layers (mornings and evenings can be chilly)
  • A warm rain resistant coat
  • Shoes that you can work in
  • Shoes that are easily to remove after walking between buildings (ideally that you can slip into)
  • A change of clothes to work outside (weather permitting)
  • Umbrella
  • Flashlight
  • Toiletries
  • Towel
  • An open mind


Total 7-day stay is $360 (Includes meals and accommodations)

For people staying only a portion the rates are $60/per overnight, and $25/per day for day visits.

Register for Tanjo-e Sesshin here.


We engage a full schedule to maximize our time in the zendo and on the cushion: we recommend participants to join each sesion if possible.  If you'll be missing a substantial portion of the day, please let the Ino know. After the last evening zazen period, it is recommended to move towards sleep, making it easier for yourself and others to be awake and alert for morning practice. 

Tanjo-e Sesshin Schedule 2018


April 2nd - April 8th


4- 6:00pm Registration
5:00 - 6pm Oryoki Instruction
6:00 Dinner & Cleanup
7:30 Zazen
8:10 Opening Remarks


Tuesday - Saturday

5:30am Wake-Up Bell
6:00 Zazen
6:40 Kinhin
6:50 Zazen
7:20 Service
7:35 Breakfast
8:05 Soji
8:15 End Soji
9:10am Zazen
9:50 Kinhin
10:00 Zazen
10:40 Outdoor Kinhin
11:10 Zazen
11:50 Kinhin
12:00 Lunch
2:00 Shuso Ceremony
4:20 Zazen
4:50 Kinhin
5:00 Zazen
5:30 Kinhin
5:40 Dinner
7:10pm Zazen
7:50 Kinhin
8:00 Zazen
8:30pm Prostrations



5:30am Wake-up Bell
6:00 Zazen
6:40 Robe Chant, Kinhin
6:50 Zazen
7:20 Service
7:35 Breakfast
8:10 Closing Remarks
Dishes, Clean-up Kitchen
Pack Personal Belongings
Clean-up Zendo
10:00 Zazen
10:40 Kinhin
10:50 Zazen
11:20 Service
11:40 Dharma Talk
12:30 Social Lunch
1:10 Kitchen &
Community Bldg. Clean-up,
Set-up for Buddha's Birthday
2:00pm Buddha's Birthday Ceremony,


About Jikoji

Jikoji is a rustic mountain retreat established in 1983 by Kobun Chino Roshi and a group of students. A Soto Zen Buddhist temple associated with Hokoji in Taos, NM and Jokoji in Japan, Jikoji exists as a unique opportunity to practice in a rural setting. At 2350 ft. elevation in the Santa Cruz mountains, the grounds comprise 13.26 acres. The property has many unique features, such as a large pond (or small lake), places to pitch a tent (in addition to hostel type accommodations), and miles of hiking trails in the surrounding 1800 acres of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Location and Contact Information

Jikoji is located approximately one hour south of San Francisco, California, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Our address is 12100 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos CA 95033. You can reach us by phone at (408) 741-9562 during our regular business hours, 9 AM to 2 PM, M-F. You can also contact us at our email address: 

Register for Tanjo-e Sesshin here.

Earlier Event: March 25
Science and Buddhism
Later Event: April 7
Shuso Ceremony