Retreat Teachers

At ZMM and ZCNYC

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

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.

Events with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Entering the Way of Compassion—The Practices of a Bodhisattva
January 22, 2022

A Precepts II Retreat in the Mountains & Rivers Order The vow of the Bodhisattva is to alleviate suffering and give selflessly for the benefit of all beings—to live with compassion. According to Buddhist teachings, each of us is naturally endowed with compassion. So why do generosity, kindness and patience so often seem difficult to bring forth? What constricts our hearts and ability to respond skillfully? Indeed, what is it to be skillfully compassionate towards ourselves and others? This retreat is open to all who are interested in practicing the Dharma and cultivating a life of wisdom and compassion. It is also part of the Mountains and Rivers Order training program for students receiving the Buddhist precepts.  In this retreat, we will examine and discuss bodhicitta—the great aspiration to liberate self and other—and its important role in generating compassion. We’ll also study the teachings of the Paramitas or Perfections, those practices and enlightened views of selfless compassion: generosity, morality, patience, joyful effort, meditation and transcendent wisdom.  By exploring the issues that challenge us the most, we’ll see how we can bring compassionate action into our daily practice, both spontaneously and intentionally. Donations are appreciated at this time, thank you!

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—January 2022
January 24 - 30, 2022

Welcome to One Continuous Thread, a way to bring elements of a formal zazen intensive into your daily life. You will be able to participate with ZMM’s Sesshin via live webcast. We’ve designed this retreat keeping in mind the unique circumstances that each person finds themselves in during this time of social distancing. Some people can engage fully with a sesshin schedule in their homes; others may seek the rigors and rewards of a zazen intensive while navigating their ongoing responsibilities to work, family and friends. One Continuous Thread can hold it all as we sit together, even while our needs and experiences might be quite diverse. After registering, you’ll receive further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule. Webcasted dharma talks during the week will also be available as audio files. There will be a Zoom offering for Opening Guidelines on Monday night, and all participants, especially new ones, are encouraged to attend (regardless of day of arrival), and an evening Closing Reflections on Friday evening.   All participants who register by 10 a.m. on Monday, January 24th…

Introduction to Zen Practice Weekend
February 4 - 6, 2022

This time calls each of us to bring forth clear understanding and genuine compassion to alleviate the suffering within us and in our world. The Buddha was enlightened to the truth—that we each yearn to be at peace and in harmony—yet we struggle to know how our lives can bring us closer to our deepest aspirations. Buddhist practice is a Path that brings us closer, teaching us profound spiritual practices that any sincere person can engage, wherever we are. This online version of the Monastery’s popular monthly Introduction to Zen Training is an opportunity to engage these time-honored practices and begin a meditation practice at home or strengthen a practice that has already begun. Designed for those new to Zen training, this retreat introduces the Monastery’s Eight Gates program, an approach for taking up the whole of our lives as a path of spiritual practice. Led by a training staff of Monastics, Home Practicing Seniors and Teachers, this online immersion experience can work within most living situations, as long as the commitment to engage is there within you. While the weekend includes talks and plenty of time for questions, the experiential component is what grounds the practice. You will get…

Bodhidharma Sesshin
February 21 - 27, 2022

For February sesshin, in the spirit of Bodhidharma, practitioners are invited to connect even more intimately with zazen through the offering of extended silence and self-reliance. Throughout the week, the emphasis is on zazen; no talks or face-to-face interviews will be scheduled. Instead, we will allow our practice to be led by the deep winter silence. We will wake up each day long before dawn to begin a schedule that includes zazen, chanting services, formal silent meals in the zendo (oryoki), and work practice. This sesshin is an opportunity to draw from the tremendous strength of people practicing together and experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us. As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery during this time, participants are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide negative results from a PCR test taken no more than three days in advance of arrival.  Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery before you must have a pre-sesshin interview, so please call the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228.  If you have any questions, you can contact the the Registrar via email. Please don’t let financial…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—February 2022
February 21 - 27, 2022

Welcome to One Continuous Thread, a way to bring elements of a formal zazen intensive into your daily life. You will be able to participate with ZMM’s Sesshin via live webcast (note that there are no formal talks or meetings with teachers during this Bodhidharma retreat). We’ve designed this retreat keeping in mind the unique circumstances that each person finds themselves in during this time of social distancing. Some people can engage fully with a sesshin schedule in their homes; others may seek the rigors and rewards of a zazen intensive while navigating their ongoing responsibilities to work, family and friends. One Continuous Thread can hold it all as we sit together, even while our needs and experiences might be quite diverse. After registering, you’ll receive further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be a Zoom offering for Opening Guidelines on Monday night, and all participants, especially new ones, are encouraged to attend (regardless of day of arrival), and an evening Closing Reflections on Friday evening.   During the Bodhidharma sesshin, there will be no  formal…

Introduction to Zen Training Weekend
March 11 - 13, 2022

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…

Founding Sesshin
March 28 - April 3, 2022

Characterized by silence and deep introspection, sesshin is recommended to anyone who is sincerely interested in experiencing intensive Zen training. We wake up each day before dawn to begin a schedule that includes 7 to 10 hours of zazen, chanting services, formal silent meals in the zendo (oryoki), silent work practice and talks by the teacher and senior students. Sesshin is an opportunity to receive personal guidance in private interviews with the teacher, draw from the tremendous strength of people practicing together and experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us. As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery during this time, participants are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide negative results from a PCR test taken no more than three days in advance of arrival.  Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery before you must have a pre-sesshin interview, so please call the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228.  If you have any questions, you can contact the the Registrar via email. Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee,…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—March 2022
March 28 - April 3, 2022

Welcome to One Continuous Thread, a way to bring elements of a formal zazen intensive into your daily life. You will be able to participate with ZMM’s Sesshin via live webcast. We’ve designed this retreat keeping in mind the unique circumstances that each person finds themselves in during this time of social distancing. Some people can engage fully with a sesshin schedule in their homes; others may seek the rigors and rewards of a zazen intensive while navigating their ongoing responsibilities to work, family and friends. One Continuous Thread can hold it all as we sit together, even while our needs and experiences might be quite diverse. After registering, you’ll receive further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be a Zoom offering for Opening Guidelines on Monday night, and all participants, especially new ones, are encouraged to attend (regardless of day of arrival), and an evening Closing Reflections on Friday evening.   All participants who register by 10 a.m. on Monday, March 28th will be offered a chance to meet with a teacher via Zoom during…

Introduction to Zen Training Weekend
April 8 - 10, 2022

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…

Apple Blossom Sesshin
April 25 - May 1, 2022

Characterized by silence and deep introspection, sesshin is recommended to anyone who is sincerely interested in experiencing intensive Zen training. We wake up each day before dawn to begin a schedule that includes 7 to 10 hours of zazen, chanting services, formal silent meals in the zendo (oryoki), silent work practice and talks by the teacher and senior students. Sesshin is an opportunity to receive personal guidance in private interviews with the teacher, draw from the tremendous strength of people practicing together and experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us. As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery during this time, participants are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide negative results from a PCR test taken no more than three days in advance of arrival.  Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery before you must have a pre-sesshin interview, so please call the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228.  If you have any questions, you can contact the the Registrar via email. This retreat may be joined in progress as late as Thursday evening. Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending…

Introduction to Zen Training Weekend
May 6 - 8, 2022

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…

Shuso Hossen Sesshin
May 23 - 29, 2022

Characterized by silence and deep introspection, sesshin is recommended to anyone who is sincerely interested in experiencing intensive Zen training. We wake up each day before dawn to begin a schedule that includes 7 to 10 hours of zazen, chanting services, formal silent meals in the zendo (oryoki), silent work practice and talks by the teacher and senior students. Sesshin is an opportunity to receive personal guidance in private interviews with the teacher, draw from the tremendous strength of people practicing together and experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us. As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery during this time, participants are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide negative results from a PCR test taken no more than three days in advance of arrival.  Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery before you must have a pre-sesshin interview, so please call the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228.  If you have any questions, you can contact the the Registrar via email. This retreat may be joined in progress as late as Friday evening. Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending…