Intro to Zen Weekend

Meditation Retreat for Beginners

A Zen Retreat for Beginners

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? Are you looking for a community to support your meditation practice?

Designed for those new to Zen or formal Zen training, this introductory retreat allows you to immerse yourself in Zen practice at Zen Mountain Monastery, a residential monastic training center in the Catskill Mountains, a 2-3 hour trip from New York City.

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Learn to Meditate

During the weekend, you’ll receive instruction in zazen (seated meditation) and have a chance to experience other aspects of Zen practice including liturgy, work as sacred activity, body practice, and creative expression.

You’ll learn how to establish a consistent home practice and receive guidance on bringing Zen practice into your work, family, and relationships. And you’ll have the opportunity for private interview with a teacher to get support for your mediation practice and spiritual path. Living alongside Monastery residents and monastics for the weekend, you’ll have plenty of time for questions and conversation, so that you can get a sense of whether Zen is a path you might like to explore further.

A Spiritual Retreat in the Mountains

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 innate silence and stillness.


Where is Zen Mountain Monastery? ZMM is in the Catskill Mountains 2-3 hours north of New York City, easily accessible via car or bus. Directions.

How much does the retreat cost? The weekend costs $250, which includes food and lodging. Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee, there are options.

Who are the teachers? Many of our retreats are co-led and facilitated by both lay and monastic teachers as well as senior monastics in the order. More about our teachers and staff.

What should I know about attending a retreat at ZMM? We have a dedicated FAQ page for those visiting the Monastery for the first time. Read about the retreat schedule, accommodations, what to bring and more.