Sesshin & Retreats

Sesshin refers to an intensive meditation retreat that is among the most important of Zen practices.

Korinji Rinzai Zen monastery residents practice chanting


During sesshin many hours of meditation - and frequent meetings with the Zen teacher - provide an unmatched opportunity to profoundly deepen your spiritual practice, and emerge with a transformed understanding of your life.

Korinji offers six one week-long sesshin (called Dai-Sesshin, "great sesshin") a year at the monastery and one in Europe, as well as an annual shorter weekend sesshin in Europe. Partial attendance is usually permitted for those who cannot attend the full event.

If you are new to Zen practice, we recommend our four-day Zen Life Retreats - a short sesshin especially for beginners.

You may also receive beginning instruction during an Intro to Zen day at the monastery, or by visiting one of our practice groups.

Important information

To join us at Korinji for a Dai-Sesshin or Zen Life Retreat, please do the following:

  1. Read the Sesshin Info document below. It contains general information you need for both Dai-Sesshin and the Zen Life Retreats, including directions to Korinji, where to park, what to bring, etc.
  2. Read the Daily Schedule document below for either Dai-Sesshin or the Zen Life Retreat to get an idea of what each event involves.
  3. If this is your first Dai-Sesshin or Zen Life Retreat with us, please fill out the sesshin application  below. You may fill out and sign it digitally or print it out and then photograph or scan. Either way, please send the completed form to us via email.
  4. If you have been to a sesshin at Korinji in the past, it is sufficient to just RSVP via email.
  5. For sesshin in Europe, please instead see our events page. You wll apply and register directly with the European organizers using the links shown.

Intro to Zen Days

Korinji monastery, our headquarters temple in Wisconsin (about 50 miles from Madison), hosts a monthly open house: our Intro to Zen Days. Meido Roshi gives beginning meditation instruction and a short talk. Afterward, we enjoy tea and coffee together, and participants receive a tour of the monastery.

These are also open practice days when experienced meditators can sit with us and have dokusan (private meetings with our abbot to discuss their practice).

We welcome you to join us!

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Zen Life Retreats

If you are new to Zen, please consider joining us at Korinji for a beginner's sesshin: our Zen Life Retreat.

Starting on Thursday evening and ending Sunday morning, these are immersive events during which you will get a taste of Zen monastery life, deepen your meditation, and receive direct guidance from our teacher. Through this experience, you will start to see how Zen practice can transform your own life into a path of wisdom and compassion.

Zen Life Retreats are appropriate for teens and adults, of all ages and conditions. Though challenging, no experience is required. See "Important Information" above for the sesshin info and application.