Retreat Teachers


Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

A Zen priest, Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received 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 currently serves as MRO Director of Training and co-Director of the Zen Center of NYC. Before entering the Monastery in 1990, Hojin Sensei studied fine art and trained under legendary ceramicist Toshiku Takaezu, among others. Over the years she has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, and continues to teach on the creative process within the Mountains and Rivers Order.

Events with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Wild Grasses Sesshin: A Meditation Intensive for Women
September 12, 2019

A special meditation intensive led by Hojin Sensei and Zuisei Sensei, Wild Grasses Sesshin is a chance for those who identify as women to practice this ancient form of zen training within the uniquely supportive environment of an all-women practice community. 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), work practice and talks by the teacher and senior students. This sesshin will offer an opportunity to draw from the tremendous strength of people practicing together and experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us. Participants may begin this sesshin on Thursday or Friday evening. Because sesshin is a very intensive retreat, those wishing to attend should first complete an Introduction to Zen Training Retreat or have participated in sesshins at another Zen center. Those who have never participated in sesshin before, or who are newer to Zen practice, should plan on beginning with the Friday-Sunday portion of the retreat. First-time sesshin participants should call the Training Office to set up a…

Zazenkai - September
September 21, 2019

Zazenkai presents an opportunity each month, 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. We strive to keep our retreat prices low and offer these programs on a sliding scale. It’s important that the dharma is available to everyone. Thank you for your continued support. No deposit is necessary to register. You can pay the full balance at the door by cash, check or credit card.

Staying Present: A Creative Process Retreat
October 19, 2019

Buddhism teaches that “you and I are the same thing, but I am not you and you are not me.” While it can sound esoteric or abstract, this teaching is pointing to a basic fact of our moment-to-moment experience: that sameness (you and I are the same thing) and difference (but I am not you and you are not me) arise together at the same time. How do you actually experience this? What is this like in your body and mind? How do you realize the truth of it? In this day-long workshop, we’ll use the creative process to examine and explore our relationship to diversity and difference—both inner and outer. Using our body and mind as the medium of exploration, we’ll take up a range of somatic practices and cognitive exercises to disrupt our usual habits and patterns. How do we relate to diversity in our own body and mind? What happens when diverse worlds meet? What kind of world do we want to create?

Buddha's Enlightenment Vigil
December 6, 2019

Shakyamuni Buddha was enlightened when he saw the morning star rising in the east. At Fire Lotus Temple, we mark that moment of awakening each year with a Morning Star Vigil. This silent, all-night period of deep sitting is a wonderful way to celebrate both the Buddha’s enlightenment and our present good fortune at having encountered the dharma and sangha in our own lives. Over the years, it has become a very powerful and important event for many at Fire Lotus. At ZCNYC, 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 the evening at 6:30pm with a light, informal pot-luck sangha supper. At 8:30, the Vigil begins with Hojin Sensei offering a teaching in the zendo. Following this, all is silent and still as each participant turns inward to give themselves completely to their meditation practice. There is no structure or marking of time throughout the night. Participants can sit as long as they like, changing postures when needed, and taking breaks at their own discretion. Whisked green tea will be served in the zendo every few hours to…