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

Ango Art Practice: Intimacy Renewing Intimacy: Exploring Relationships of All Kinds (online)
March 1 - May 17, 2024

Since intimacy surrounds you, it is fully intimate; it is beyond intimate. You should clearly study this. Thus the person becomes the correct heir of Buddha ancestors. Right now is the very moment when you are intimate with yourself and intimate with others. You are intimate with Buddha ancestors, intimate with other beings. This being so, intimacy renews intimacy. —Dogen-Intimate Language  Mind is like an artist, able to paint the worlds: the five clusters all are born thence; there’s nothing it doesn’t make. As is the mind, so is the Buddha. As is the Buddha, so are living beings. Know that Buddha and mind are in essence inexhaustible. If people know the actions of mind create all the worlds, they will see the Buddha and understand Buddha’s true nature.                        —Avatamsaka Sutra  The Avatamsaka Sutra uses the metaphor and image of Indra’s net that vividly reflects the interconnectedness, interrelatedness and interdependency of everything and everyone in the universe. “No-thingness” doesn’t have much to do with nothing: things are interrelatedness itself. The term “relationship” in art practice can refer to the way that different elements of a work of art are connected to each other and relate to each other. This could…

Peaceful Dwelling Ango Opening Zazenkai
March 2, 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, 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.    

No-Look Drawing Sessions & Zazen
March 8 - May 3, 2024

Wouldn’t it be joyous to uncover and discover your real love of drawing in a way that is stress-free, and that you might not have thought was possible? To touch the mystery of the impermanence directly in front of you and be able to express it? Join Hojin Sensei for these no-look (sometimes called blind contour) drawing sessions. This process involves working with a few continuous lines created by very slowly drawing mark following the edges and details of an object or person without looking at the paper. It can be very calming and meditative and all it requires is careful observation, attention to details and slowing down. We’ll see how the images come alive with spirit and dimension just by staying deeply connected. Be prepared to be surprised! This can offer a most beautiful way to get out of our way and by -pass the mind that thinks it knows things. Its focus is on process and how it  naturally brings together the working of hands and eyes and above all helps us to trust our relationship to directly seeing. No experience necessary. Each person will need a pack of soft charcoal, a charcoal pencil and a kneaded eraser.…

Born as the Earth Sangha Gathering: Central Park Exploration
March 9, 2024

When you think of Central Park, what comes to mind?  Do you think of a park packed with multitudes of tourists?  Perhaps you picture an urban green space, home to Forever Wild areas and a nature preserve? Or, maybe you reflect on the history of Central Park and the people who once lived within its boundaries? It turns out Central Park is all of these things and more. Join Sangha members on March 9th as we explore these many faces of Central Park. We’ll visit some lesser known areas of the park and take time out for art practice as well as periods of silent reflection. We’ll also discuss the complex history of Central Park.  Hope to see you on March 9th! We’ll meet at 10am at the C train stop on 103rd Street and Central Park West. Bring water, a bag lunch or snacks, and simple art supplies such as pens,  pencils, colors of any kind (we will also have some supplies for you to use). If you have any further questions about this venture you may write to us at the training office: zcnyc@dharma.net. We will send out another notice closer to retreat time with any updates and as…

Introduction to Eight Gates of Zen Training
March 23, 2024

Zazen is not learning to do concentration. It is the dharma gate of great ease and joy. It is undivided practice-realization.                    ― Dōgen Zenji The Eight Gates of Zen were developed by John Daido Loori Roshi, and form the basis of training in the Mountains and Rivers Order. They offer us a tangible way to take up the whole of our lives as a path of spiritual practice, thereby revealing―whether we are engaged in a busy life in the world or live at the Monastery or Temple―that all aspects of our being are vital to our study and practice of the Path. The Eight Gates are: Zazen, Studying with a Teacher, Buddhist Study, Liturgy, Right Action, Art Practice, Body Practice, and Work Practice, all of which include our relationship to this great earth and all beings.

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—March 2024
March 25 - 31, 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. …

Founding Sesshin
March 25 - 31, 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, so please call or email the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Since there are a limited number of spots, please sign up for only 1 or 2 sesshin per quarter.  If registration is full, please put your name on the waiting list.  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…

Genuine Field Zazenkai
April 6, 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.    

Wonder into Wonder: An Art Practice Retreat
April 12 - 14, 2024

The dharma realm in the ten directions arises from the single mind. When the single mind is still, all appearances are entirely exhausted, Which one is over there? Which one is myself?  —Hongzhi  Cultivating the Empty Field Practice instruction   Perhaps the greatest wonder of all is that we have the ability to wonder, to reflect, and to have this capacity as a natural by-product of being alive which is simply amazing! Then, the question- how to nurture doubt and inquiry in our favor? To say “I wonder” can mean many things. We call something “a wonder” when it is an astonishing thing or accomplishment, a miraculous event like the birth of a baby, or when we are uncertain and having doubts. It’s also “the emotion excited by the perception of something novel, unexpected, or inexplicable, sometimes mingled with perplexity or bewildered curiosity.”  “Wonder” is the state of mind in which these emotions are held. When we observe something wonder-full and marvelous, we are filled with wonder, infused with awe. How can this state of mind help us navigate our everyday lives in the face of impermanence? Can this state of mind penetrate all appearances in our life, unconditionally? How might awe be a saving grace?…

One Continuous Thread: Home Practice Intensive—April 2024
April 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. …

Apple Blossom Sesshin
April 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, so please call or email the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Since there are a limited number of spots, please sign up for only 1-2 sesshin per quarter. This session must be joined no later than Thursday. If registration is full, please put your name on the waiting list.  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…

Introduction to the Eightfold Path of Liberation: Right Relationship
May 4, 2024

Buddhism, with its non-theistic framework, grounds its ethics, not on the notion of obedience, but on that of harmony.                      ― Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering   The Buddha began and ended his teaching with a discussion of the Eightfold Path, a collection of guidelines in living ethically, training the mind, and cultivating wisdom that bring an end to the causes of suffering. He spoke of the Eightfold Path in his very first sermon, immediately after his awakening, and it was the last teaching he gave on his deathbed forty-five years later. The Eightfold Path is the Fourth Noble Truth, the way to awakening. The Buddha is often described as a great physician or healer, and the Eightfold Path or Noble Eightfold Path (“noble” because following it can make us more skillful and generous people), can be viewed as his prescription for relief from stress. Suffering is the dis-ease, and the eight steps are a process of treatment that can lead us to health, well-being and right relationship as we avoid the extremes of self-indulgence on the one hand and total self-denial on the other.…

Original Brightness Zazenkai
May 11, 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—May 2024
May 20 - 26, 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. …

Ocean Gathering Sesshin
May 20 - 26, 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, so please call or email the Training Office to schedule at (845) 688-2228, or registrar@dharma.net. Since there are a limited number of spots, please sign up for only 1 or 2 sesshin per quarter.  If registration is full, please put your name on the waiting list.  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…