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Denko-e Sesshin

Denko-e Sesshin

Led by Vanja Palmers

Denko-e ("Gathering of Light Sesshin") is part of a cycle of four traditional sesshins initiated by Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi. Denko-e has a lighter schedule and emphasis on teaching. Many teachers will be contributing, with open discussions about our practice life. As with all Jikoji sesshins, you may also attend part-time, but please call ahead to sign up for meals and lodging.


Denko-e Sesshin

4-6 pm    Registration
6:00        Dinner
7:45         Zazen
8:25         Opening Remarks

Tuesday - Saturday           
5:30 am    Wake-up Bell
6:00        Zazen
6:40        Kinhin
6:50        Zazen
7:20        Service
7:30        Breakfast
8:15        Samu (Work Period)
9:15        End Samu
9:30       Zazen
10:10      Outdoor Kinhin
10:50     Zazen
11:20       Kinhin
11:30       Zazen
12:00 pm     Lunch
12:40       Break & Kitchen Clean-up
1:40         Zazen
2:20         Kinhin
2:30        Tea/Talk
3:30        Kinhin and get to yoga
3:40        Yoga/Tai Chi
4:20        Zazen
5:00        Kinhin
5:10         Zazen
5:40        Kinhin
5:50        Supper
6:30        Break & Kitchen Clean-up
7:10        Zazen
7:50        Kinhin
8:00        Zazen
8:30        Three Refuges Chant
8:40        Bedtime

6:00am    Zazen
6:40        Kinhin
6:50        Zazen
7:20        Service
7:35        Breakfast
8:30        Closing Circle
9:00        Break & Room Cleaning
10:00           Zazen
10:40           Kinhin
10:50           Zazen         
11:20           Service
11:40           Dharma Talk
12:30pm   Social Lunch


Vanja Palmers is a Soto Zen priest now based in Europe. He is an animal rights activist of many years and Dharma heir of the late Kobun Chino Otogowa Roshi. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Vanja spent 10 years as a monk at Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. In 1981 he and a fellow monastic at Tassajara founded Buddhists Concerned for Animals (BCA); this organization has evolved and operates now as Human Farming Association, HFA. Vanja returned to Europe in 1983. In 1989 he and the Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast OSB, founded Puregg, an ecumenical House of Silence in the Austrian Alps. This is where Kobun lead Sesshin for 15 years. Puregg is a place of interreligious dialogue, particularly between Christians and Buddhists. In 1998 he founded Stiftung Felsentor in Switzerland, a meditation center combined with an animal sanctuary that also runs a vegetarian garden restaurant.

Since it was a crucial experience in his youth, and after decades of total abstinence, Vanja now devotes some time and energy towards the study and legalization of psychedelics. Together with the University of Zürich, he conducted a (double blind) Study where, on the 4th day of a Sesshin, participants got either Psilocybin or Placebo. They got into the MRI (Magnet Resonance Imaging) before and after and filled out questionnaires. Currently he is involved in another Study with the University of Basel, using LSD to alleviate the fear people have when confronted with a life threatening illness.

Vanja is married and has a grown up daughter. In the name of Kobun, he has completed Dharma transmission with Angie Enjo Boissevan, Carolyn Atkinson, Jean Kojun Leyshon, Michael Shoho Newhall, and Ian Hakuryu Forsberg. 

Earlier Event: September 11
Mindful Yoga
Later Event: November 8
Veteran's Memorial Session