Introduction to Zen Training Weekend
with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi, Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei, Mn. Shoan Ankele and Mn. Gokan Bonebakker
December 3 - 5, 2021
Are you new to meditation or Zen Buddhist practice? Have you read books about Zen, or been doing meditation on your own? Do you think you’d like to study with a teacher? Designed for those new to Zen or formal Zen training, this introductory retreat allows you to immerse yourself in Zen practice and experience the Monastery’s Eight Gates program. With a partial re-opening underway, we are happy to offer this on-site retreat safely.
During the weekend, you’ll receive instruction in zazen (seated meditation) and have a chance to experience and ask questions about liturgy, work as sacred activity, art and body practice, the teachings of wisdom and compassion, and Buddhist study. You’ll learn how to establish a consistent home practice and receive guidance on bringing it into your work, family, and relationships. And you’ll have the opportunity for private interview with a teacher to explore the importance of the teacher-student relationship for the spiritual path.
This retreat also gives you a chance to encounter the Monastery cloister—a dynamic spiritual community whose everyday activities and concerns are simplified. By entering the cloister for a weekend, you experience a place uniquely conducive to spiritual practice and to connecting to your own innate silence and stillness.
This retreat is a prerequisite for attending a sesshin or becoming a formal MRO student.
*We ask that all retreat participants present proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test conducted no more than three days before their date of arrival.*
Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee, there are options.
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals, and The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 (Shambhala Publications). His book of poetry, O, Beautiful End, a collection of Zen memorial poems, was published in 2012.
Learn more about Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received the priestly transmission (the transmission of the Precepts) from Daido Roshi, who began the process in 2009, and from Shugen Roshi, who completed the transmission in 2012. In 2017, she received full dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi. She serves as the Training Director for the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of the Zen Center of NYC-Fire Lotus Temple . Hojin Sensei began her artistic career early and has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, opening people up to the wonders and mysteries of the creative process and continues to offer Art Practices as part of her teaching. She has been in full-time residential training at the Monastery since 1990 and now shares her time at the Brooklyn temple.
Learn more about Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei
Danica Shoan Ankele is a Dharma Holder and Senior Monastic in the Mountains and Rivers Order. A native of New York City, she first came to the Monastery as a sophomore in college and has been in full time residential training since 2007. She became a senior student in 2009 and took full monastic ordination with Shugen Roshi in 2015. Shoan is the Monastery’s Creative Director and Training Coordinator. She also oversees our Tenkozan line of statues and naturally dyed fabrics, designed and produced on the Monastery grounds.
Learn more about Mn. Shoan Ankele