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Winter Nature Sesshin


Winter Nature Sesshin

Led by Eric Remington & Doug Jacobson

We invite you to find stillness in the woods that cradle our temple. Our schedule features several outdoor excursions along our paths, alternating with periods of zazen and walking meditation, and a tea and Dharma discussion.

Sesshin, to settle the mind on itself.
Nature. “What” is what will make lasting peace in the sangha.
Zen is the way of freedom.
We’ll sit - the great gate of peace and joy - in the zendo.
We’ll have Dharma discussions.
What else will we do? Where will we explore?
don’t know! - The perfect place to start.
To be busy and planned-to-death is not dignified in sesshin.
Busy - ness and noise have no business in the wild indeed, they will scare the wild far, far away, far away, and it will hide.
But we might entice it out with a shout - a Koko gorilla purr!
Do you ever wonder
what the Buddha saw, sees, and will see?
Leave the city as it is:
The Awakened One is already smiling!
Come enjoy
The pure smile of winter’s child.
at this remote mountain temple with us.
The roots of spring are already on the run.
There are salamanders, Batrachoseps,
With tiny legs and no lungs,
and winter moths, male and female, on the lee of tree trunks,
and green swords ferns, washed clean by the rains.
Deer are beginning to shed their antlers
and maybe you haven’t tasted how sweet the water is
bubbling up from the mountain springs,
living and breathing,
but you could join me for a sip or a slurp.
There are things behind trees, too,
But the sharp - sighted one still sees,
and there are things underground, fossorial even,
magic, all around,
and the sky, omigod, fresh as a baby!
Who knows, you might find something
That’ll open your eye as wide as a dragon’s:
you might even see the deepest wish
of your warm Zen heart.
Real Zen will tell you where to put your foot down,
the new way to walk, as you’re willing.
And don’t forget your turtle fur boots -
Could be a wild ride with Grandpa Eric!

Nature Sesshin begins Thursday evening, January 10, and will conclude Sunday, January 13, with our regular Jikoji Sunday Program. Buffet meals are included. You are welcome to come for all or any part of the event, participating in the schedule as you wish. Our zendos are always open. Please see below for the complete schedule.

PREPARATION: The weather at Jikoji can vary greatly over the course of a day. January mornings will likely be cold, but the days can sometimes warm up significantly. Whatever the weather happens to be, rain or shine, even some frost, shouldn't affect our weekend. But please keep weather variability in mind when preparing for your visit. Eric suggests wearing shoes suitable for walking in the country, and dressing in layers is advised. You may wish to bring a hat and insect repellent.

Additional Preparation: Our First Saturdays Zazenkai is a 1-day retreat, and a wonderful way to get a taste of what a multi-day sesshin (retreat) is like. Please see here for more information.

COST: This Nature Sesshin retreat has no registration fee for day attendance and is freely offered, although dana (donations) are always appreciated.

Overnight guest accommodations (Thursday January 10, Friday January 11, and Saturday January 12), if desired, need to be booked separately on our Reservations page. Camp sites are available, too!  

Eric Remington was an early student of Kobun, Jikoji's Founder, in the early 1970s.  After years spent studying with Kobun and founding a school for children, Eric was ordained and subsequently trained at Tassajara Monastery for a year.  He became a biologist and naturalist before living for several years in the desert, and recently joining Jikoji as a Resident.

Eric Remington Headshot_preview.jpeg


(Schedule is subject to minor change.)


5:00 WAKE-UP
5:30 walk to ridge
5:45 zazen on ridge
6:45 return to Jikoji
7:00 zazen
7:40 kinhin
7:50 breakfast
9:00 zazen
9:40 kinhin
9:50 zazen
10:30 kinhin
10:40 zazen
11:20 kinhin
11:30 zazen
12:00 Lunch
1:40 zazen
2:20 kinhin
2:30 zazen
3:10 kinhin
3:20 zazen
4:00 walk to ridge
4:15 zazen on ridge
5:00 return to Jikoji
5:15 Dinner
7:00 zazen
7:40 kinhin
7:50 zazen
8:30 kinhin
8:40 9 bows

5:00 WAKE-UP
5:30 walk to ridge
5:45 zazen on ridge
6:45 return to Jikoji
7:00 zazen
7:40 closing remarks
8:00 breakfast
10:00 zazen (joining our regular Sunday Program)
10:40 kinhin
10:50 zazen
12:30 Sunday Program Lunch

Earlier Event: December 31
New Year's Eve at Jikoji
Later Event: January 27
Science & Buddhism