Retreat Teachers

At ZMM and ZCNYC

MRO Teachers and Senior Staff

Many of our retreats are co-led and facilitated by both lay and monastic teachers as well as senior monastics in the order. To learn more about our teachers and staff, visit this page.

Events with MRO Teachers and Senior Staff

Buddha's Enlightenment Vigil
December 2 - 4, 2022

After he left his family’s home to seek liberation from suffering, Shakyamuni Buddha spent some years studying with spiritual teachers and engaging in extreme ascetic practices. Through it all, he remained unsatisfied that he had resolved his search. Inspired by a memory of an experience of deep, easeful meditation he’d experienced in his youth, he sat down at the base of a bo tree, took the zazen posture, and resolved not to rise until he had settled his questions. That morning, upon seeing the morning star, he realized annuttarasamyak-sambodhi, supreme perfect enlightenment. At Zen Mountain Monastery, we celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment with a vigil dedicated to the simple yet profound practice of zazen, which Dogen Zenji called the “dharma gate of ease and joy.” We’ll begin after supper Friday evening with introductory remarks and a renewal of our bodhisattva vows. Then, we’ll mark the Buddha’s enlightenment by sitting together through the night and day. In the spirit of hermitage practice, participants will be invited to sit at their own pace, do walking meditation, rest when needed, and maintain a wholehearted mind of meditation throughout the vigil. A buffet table will be available in the dining hall for meals. Green tea will be…

ONLINE: Buddha's Enlightenment Vigil
December 2 - 4, 2022

After he left his family’s home to seek liberation from suffering, Shakyamuni Buddha spent some years studying with spiritual teachers and engaging in extreme ascetic practices. Through it all, he remained unsatisfied that he had resolved his search. Inspired by a memory of an experience of deep, easeful meditation he’d experienced in his youth, he sat down at the base of a bo tree, took the zazen posture, and resolved not to rise until he had settled his questions. That morning, upon seeing the morning star, he realized annuttarasamyak-sambodhi, supreme perfect enlightenment. At Zen Mountain Monastery, we celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment with a vigil dedicated to the simple yet profound practice of zazen, which Dogen Zenji called the “dharma gate of ease and joy.” We’ll begin after supper Friday evening with introductory remarks and a renewal of our bodhisattva vows. Then, we’ll mark the Buddha’s enlightenment by sitting together through the night and day. In the spirit of hermitage practice, participants will be invited to sit at their own pace, do walking meditation, rest when needed, and maintain a wholehearted mind of meditation throughout the vigil. The vigil will include a Zoom link for those joining from home as the zendo remains…

True Refuge Week: Self-Directed Intensive Practice for MRO Students
January 17 - 22, 2023

Ah, not to be cut off, Not through the slightest partition Shut out from the law of stars. The inner-What is it? If not intensified sky, Hurled through with birds and deep With the winds of homecoming. —Rainer Maria Rilke All of Buddhist practice is leading us toward our true homecoming: the discovery that this very life, this very heart-mind and body, can be the source of our deepest fulfillment. Through training, and sincere, well-directed effort, as well as the support of a conducive environment, we can find that the refuge we seek is already here. While most formal Zen training at the Monastery involves surrendering our unique needs and interests to the container of the schedule and community, we are offering this week of intensive practice to nurture the journey in a different way. This retreat is limited to formal training students in the Mountains and Rivers Order. For True Refuge Week, you’ll be part of a cohort of no more than ten MRO students, each stepping into residency for a special week of intensive practice in which your personal aspirations will help shape the container. You’ll have oryoki and regular meals with the residents and serve on a…

Dharma Gates: Living a Zen Path
March 9 - 12, 2023

This retreat is limited to all people between the ages of 18-35. In collaboration with Dharma Gates, a grassroots nonprofit opening pathways into formal meditation training for young people, brings this immersion in the path of Zen Buddhism. We’ll live together in the monastic cloister, our days marked by periods of zazen meditation, Buddhist liturgy, community care taking, Noble Silence, and a chance for face-to-face teaching and practice support as well as discussions on the Gates of Zen Practice. There is also time to enjoy the residential community and the beauty of the Catskill mountains. Some of the topics addressed: What does it mean to be single focused in a monastic tradition? What is the Zen tradition, and what does Zen training offer, in the landscape of dharma practices and traditions? Is meditation separable from ethics in Buddhism ? What is interdependence? What are the moral and ethical teachings and practices of Zen that can help me live a meaningful life?  How can ethics be reframed to be not about shame or guilt but about and being of benefit in the world? What is working with a spiritual teacher? How can  a spiritual community be an important aspect of practice? What is the…

True Refuge Week: Self-Directed Intensive Practice for MRO Students
April 18 - 23, 2023

Ah, not to be cut off, Not through the slightest partition Shut out from the law of stars. The inner-What is it? If not intensified sky, Hurled through with birds and deep With the winds of homecoming. —Rainer Maria Rilke All of Buddhist practice is leading us toward our true homecoming: the discovery that this very life, this very heart-mind and body, can be the source of our deepest fulfillment. Through training, and sincere, well-directed effort, as well as the support of a conducive environment, we can find that the refuge we seek is already here. While most formal Zen training at the Monastery involves surrendering our unique needs and interests to the container of the schedule and community, we are offering this week of intensive practice to nurture the journey in a different way. This retreat is limited to formal training students in the Mountains and Rivers Order. For True Refuge Week, you’ll be part of a cohort of no more than ten MRO students, each stepping into residency for a special week of intensive practice in which your personal aspirations will help shape the container. You’ll have oryoki and regular meals with the residents and serve on a…