Retreat Teachers

At ZMM and ZCNYC

Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

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.

Events with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Hints from the Universe: a Summer Art Practice Series (online)
June 7 - August 30, 2024

“With all its many risks, this life endures No more than windblown bubbles in a stream. How marvelous to breathe in and out again, To fall asleep and then awake refreshed.” ―  Nagarjuna’s Letter To A Friend Material for our work surrounds us at every turn woven into nature, in conversations, in people, in colors and sounds, in the Dharma, in the stillness of zazen — so we can pay attention to what’s happening —in and around us. We receive messages all the time. These transmissions are subtle, we can feel the hints in our body. We can’t control or force our hints or will them to be revealed, though we can enter the unseen world with a sense of wonder, a degree of open-mindedness inviting fantastic possibilities. The view is limitless. One hint leads to another. This operates on faith. Faith allows us to trust the direction of the hint without needing to understand it- no proof is needed. When hints present themselves, it’s as if the universe in nudging us with little reminders that it’s on our side and wants to provide everything we need to give and to receive and awake refreshed! Everyone is welcome to be nudged!…

Drawing Before You Know It!
June 8 - August 18, 2024

Drawing is one of the most versatile, nimble, shape-shifting creative modalities: it can expand, generating movement and fluidity in all directions, and also contract, looking slowly into minute, direct detail. Much of the shape-shifting happens by letting go of control, letting go of ideas about what a thing is or what a drawing needs to look like. This requires a willingness to allow the marks to speak and do for themselves, and an openness toward their free association with one another, allowing breath and natural body movements to take lead by leaping into connection. Then, before we know it, we are in the ocean—drawing! With some guiding prompts & simple techniques, Hojin Sensei will guide us in drawing together and drawing apart into miraculous expression and serious play. All are welcome, especially those of you who would love to draw but think you can’t, or are afraid to try. In fact, this powerful tension of yes and no, can and can’t, is itself a gateway of discovery when we stay in connection. Be prepared to be surprised and unpredictable! *Materials will be provided. Consecutive attendance is not required — you are welcome to attend one or all sessions.

Lotus Moon Zazenkai
June 15, 2024

Zazenkai presents an opportunity to return to the well of introspection and committed Zen practice. The extended schedule includes periods of zazen, liturgy, a face-to-face interview with a teacher, a formal talk and oryoki lunch (formal meal served in the zendo). Zazenkai is an important way for experienced students to further their practice and for newer students to take a preparatory step toward the practice of sesshin. *If this will be your first zazenkai or sesshin, please call the Temple office at (718) 875-8229 for a brief interview. Due to the intensive nature of this retreat, we ask that all participants complete a beginning instruction session with the MRO and establish a regular zazen practice prior to registration. Program price for this retreat is $75, please pay what you can. It’s important that the dharma is available to everyone. Thank you for your continued support.    

Summer Solstice Sesshin
June 24 - 30, 2024

Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery you must have a pre-sesshin interview before you register. If you have questions about this process, please call or email the Training Office at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Sign up for a pre-sesshin interview here. If registration is full, please Join the Registration Pool.  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, participants are required to follow the current protocol for keeping everyone safe (this link is updated frequently so check back). Review the current protocol requirements before registering, and if you have further questions, please contact the registrar.…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—June 2024
June 24 - 30, 2024

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. 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. Further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities, will be sent to you no earlier than Monday afternoon. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be Opening Guidelines via Zoom 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 are interested can register for a group Zoom meeting with a teacher during the week; please let the Registrar know via email: registrar@dharma.net. …

Gathering Heart Zazenkai
July 13, 2024

Zazenkai presents an opportunity to return to the well of introspection and committed Zen practice. The extended schedule includes periods of zazen, liturgy, a face-to-face interview with a teacher, a formal talk and oryoki lunch (formal meal served in the zendo). Zazenkai is an important way for experienced students to further their practice and for newer students to take a preparatory step toward the practice of sesshin. *If this will be your first zazenkai or sesshin, please call the Temple office at (718) 875-8229 for a brief interview. Due to the intensive nature of this retreat, we ask that all participants complete a beginning instruction session with the MRO and establish a regular zazen practice prior to registration. Program price for this retreat is $75, please pay what you can. It’s important that the dharma is available to everyone. Thank you for your continued support.    

Interdependence Sesshin
July 22 - 28, 2024

Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery you must have a pre-sesshin interview before you register. If you have questions about this process, please call or email the Training Office at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Sign up for a pre-sesshin interview here. If registration is full, please Join the Registration Pool.  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, participants are required to follow the current protocol for keeping everyone safe (this link is updated frequently so check back). Review the current protocol requirements before registering, and if you have further questions, please contact the registrar.…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—July
July 22 - 28, 2024

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. 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. Further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities, will be sent to you no earlier than Monday afternoon. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be Opening Guidelines via Zoom 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 are interested can register for a group Zoom meeting with a teacher during the week; please let the Registrar know via email: registrar@dharma.net. …

Touching the Earth at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
August 3, 2024

Join us in this Touching the Earth sangha outing and let’s see what’s in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) this summer. As we tour through the grounds, Sanzen & Joshin will offer some historical background about the gardens and breath practices to settle us into the space. Then we’ll take a walking path for about 2 miles, stopping on occasion to sit quietly and enter the art practice of illuminated journaling led by Hojin Sensei. Illuminated Journaling is the art of noticing, the art of live recordings. This is not a journal in the sense of a personal reflective diary, but live recordings of what we notice. It is an invitation to a journey of intimacy into the world, of expanding our connection with our surroundings and our senses. A way to let our life dash through the pages and leave mysterious tracks behind! Then, over time, we can see how apparently random details cohere and form memories that are distinct, unique, and eternally fresh. To avoid the hottest part of the day, we’ll meet at 10:00 am at the Eastern Parkway entrance by the ticket selling windows (just off the Eastern Parkway / Brooklyn Museum stop on…

Mountain Bowl, Mountain Fire—A Clay Retreat
August 7 - 11, 2024

Please note: We will give priority to some new folks to attend this year. We’re asking everyone to please join the Registration Pool, and the Registrar will contact you as openings are made available. If you have already participated in a clay retreat within the last 3 years, due to the limited number of participants, we will notify you closer to the retreat date if there are openings. We are happy to again to welcome participants for this four-day clay retreat. We will begin working with wet clay and work through the week towards a day of glazing and Raku firing. This year we’re celebrating this dynamic duo leading this retreat together for over 16 years! We’ll learn to form clay bowls by hand, landing in the moment as we feel the clay respond to our every touch. Alongside this will be a joyous journey of exploring mark-making as we collect a palette of colors and pigments from Mount Tremper’s mountain body and pigments culled from the nearby Esopus River.  With our creations dried, we will glaze the work and fire it in a wondrous  600-year-old traditional Japanese firing known as raku (translated as “relaxed ware”). We will also explore some…

Mountain Posture Zazenkai
August 17, 2024

Zazenkai presents an opportunity to return to the well of introspection and committed Zen practice. The extended schedule includes periods of zazen, liturgy, a face-to-face interview with a teacher, a formal talk and oryoki lunch (formal meal served in the zendo). Zazenkai is an important way for experienced students to further their practice and for newer students to take a preparatory step toward the practice of sesshin. *If this will be your first zazenkai or sesshin, please call the Temple office at (718) 875-8229 for a brief interview. Due to the intensive nature of this retreat, we ask that all participants complete a beginning instruction session with the MRO and establish a regular zazen practice prior to registration. Program price for this retreat is $75, please pay what you can. It’s important that the dharma is available to everyone. Thank you for your continued support.    

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—August
August 19 - 25, 2024

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. 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. Further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities, will be sent to you no earlier than Monday afternoon. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be Opening Guidelines via Zoom 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 are interested can register for a group Zoom meeting with a teacher during the week; please let the Registrar know via email: registrar@dharma.net. …

Hazy Moon Sesshin
August 19 - 25, 2024

Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery you must have a pre-sesshin interview before you register. If you have questions about this process, please call or email the Training Office at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Sign up for a pre-sesshin interview here. If registration is full, please Join the Registration Pool.  Full week participation is required for this retreat. Please note: This sesshin is designed to allow participants to explore both formal periods of zazen in the zendo, as well as self-directed sitting practice within the sesshin cloister. There will be periods of time when participants may choose to sit outside or in locations other than the zendo, together with others or in solitude. There will be several formal talks and opportunities for face-to-face teaching during the sesshin. In these ways, participants will experience the strength and support of more structured practice, together with less formal, yet equally powerful, self-guided practice. 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,…

Precepts II - Entering the Way of Compassion: The Practices of a Bodhisattva
September 14, 2024

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.    

Harvest Sesshin
October 21 - 27, 2024

Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery you must have a pre-sesshin interview before you register. If you have questions about this process, please call or email the Training Office at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Sign up for a pre-sesshin interview here. If registration is full, please Join the Registration Pool.  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. You must arrive for this sesshin by Thursday evening. As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery, participants are required to follow the current protocol for keeping everyone safe (this link is updated frequently so check back). Review the current protocol requirements before registering, and…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—October
October 21 - 27, 2024

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. 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. Further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities, will be sent to you no earlier than Monday afternoon. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be Opening Guidelines via Zoom 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 are interested can register for a group Zoom meeting with a teacher during the week; please let the Registrar know via email: registrar@dharma.net. …

Great Aspiration Sesshin
November 18 - 24, 2024

Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, if you have not attended sesshin at Zen Mountain Monastery you must have a pre-sesshin interview before you register. If you have questions about this process, please call or email the Training Office at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Sign up for a pre-sesshin interview here. If registration is full, please Join the Registration Pool.  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, participants are required to follow the current protocol for keeping everyone safe (this link is updated frequently so check back). Review the current protocol requirements before registering, and if you have further questions, please contact the registrar.…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—November
November 18 - 24, 2024

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. 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. Further guidance on how to engage with the retreat, and a full schedule of the Monastery’s zendo activities, will be sent to you no earlier than Monday afternoon. You can base your own sitting around that or set your own schedule.   There will be Opening Guidelines via Zoom 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 are interested can register for a group Zoom meeting with a teacher during the week; please let the Registrar know via email: registrar@dharma.net. …