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 master - provide an unmatched opportunity to profoundly deepen your spiritual practice, and to emerge with a transformed understanding of your life.

Korinji offers eight one week-long sesshin (called Dai-Sesshin, "great sesshin") a year at the monastery and one annually in Europe, as well as a shorter weekend sesshin in Europe. Partial attendance is usually permitted for beginners or those who cannot commit to the full week.

If you are new to Zen practice, we recommend that you first receive basic instruction at one of our groups, or during an Intro to Zen day at the monastery, before applying to attend any sesshin. We also offer our week-long Zen Life Retreats that are ideal for beginners, and will give you a taste of sesshin.

Important information

Persons wishing to join us at Korinji during all or part of a Dai-Sesshin or other retreat are asked to do the following:

  1. Read the Dai-Sesshin Info document below. It includes all the information you need, 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 (beginner's sesshin).
  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 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.
Interior of Korinji Rinzai Zen monastery zendo

Intro to Zen Days

Several times a year Korinji monastery, our headquarters temple in Wisconsin (about 50 miles from Madison), hosts an open house: our Intro to Zen Days.

Participants receive a tour of the monastery and meet the residents. Meido Roshi gives beginning meditation instruction and a short talk. Afterward, we enjoy tea and coffee together.

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Participants of Rinzai zen sesshin retreats

Zen Life Retreats

After you've received basic meditation instruction, joined our community, and started to practice, consider joining us at Korinji for a Zen Life Retreat.

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.

The Zen Life Retreats are appropriate for teens and adults, of all ages and conditions. They are also a good way to prepare for sesshin, the intensive retreats offered throughout the year at Korinji and elsewhere (including Europe).