Spring Sesshin

Saturday 24th September  to Saturday 1st October

SZC Spring sesshin will be led by Gillian Coote, roshi and apprentice teacher Will Moon

In a profound valley beneath high cliffs,
zazen is peaceful, lonely and truly comfortable.
(from Song of Realising the Way by Yung-chia)

At sesshin we are free to be true to our hearts. We are free to transcend the background chatter of our busy minds and see into the fact of our own nature. Here, everything – the fog, the dew, the birdsong, the encircling cliffs – conspires to wake us up.

Old timers and new students are most welcome. As traditional Zen sesshin involves seven or eight hours a day of zazen – sitting meditation – it is not suitable for people without previous meditation experience.

Traditional sesshin offers countless opportunities for practice — zazen, kinhin, walking meditation in the bush, dokusan, teisho, sutras and samu (or work practice).

Kodoji, or Ancient Ground Temple, is SZC’s retreat centre in the Upper Macdonald Valley, about 2 hours north-west of Sydney, via Wisemans Ferry and St Albans. It was built over the last twenty-five years by Sydney Zen Centre students. Kodoji sits in a beautiful valley called Gorricks Run, surrounded by high sandstone cliffs and deep wilderness.

Flyer and Application form here

COVID safe:

The sesshin will be run on COVID-safe principles. There will be a limit of 15 participants (plus the two teachers) and preference will be given to full-time participants. To meet NSW Government requirements, participants will need to provide proof of their double vaccinated status and booster shot.

There is very limited indoor accommodation so students will pitch their own tents, bring their own masks and yoga mats. We will be COVID careful, with social distancing, taking great care preparing food, washing and sanitising hands, and when we sit, we’d like you to wear a face mask.

If you experience cold/flu symptoms in the days leading up to the sesshin, do not attend. Anyone who develops respiratory symptoms during sesshin will be asked to leave. If you can not attend sesshin due to illness, or if we are required to cancel sesshin because of COVID restrictions, we will fully refund application fees.

Venue – Kodoji or Ancient Ground Temple, is SZC’s retreat centre in the Upper MacDonald Valley, about 2 hours north-west of Sydney, via Wisemans Ferry and St Albans.

Contact: Stephen Crump stephencrump@pfsconsulting.com.au

 

 

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SZC will hold other sesshins during the year:

Rohatsu sesshin at Annandale, led by Maggie Gluek
Friday 2nd to Thursday December 8th
Contact: Jill Steverson jillsteverson@gmail.com

Timetable

  Open Time Close Time Teacher Address
24/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
24/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
25/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
26/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
27/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
28/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
29/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
30/09/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
01/10/2022 5:30 AM 9:00 PM Will Moon, Gillian Coote Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
24/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
24/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
25/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
26/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
27/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
28/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
29/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
30/09/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW
01/10/2022
5:30 AM - 9:00 PM - with Will Moon, Gillian Coote - at Kodoji, Upper MacDonald Valley, NSW

Will began his Zen practice in the mid-eighties and attended his first sesshin when Robert Aitken visited Australia in about 1985. He began practice with the Sydney Zen Centre around the same time. In 1989 and 1991 he went to Hawaii and participated in the training periods held during these years with Robert Aitken at Koko An Zendo. During this time, he worked on the building of the Palolo Zendo. He moved away from actively participating in Zen practice with the Sydney Zen Centre from 1997, returning in 2006. He began koan study initially with Robert Aitken, then John Tarrant, and then worked with Subhana Barzaghi, Gillian Coote, Paul Maloney, Maggie Gluek and Robert (Bob) Joyner during a 6 month stay in Adelaide. Will has spent many years pursuing activities in the outdoors including bushwalking, sea kayaking, mountain biking, climbing, skiing and canyoning. He developed an interest in the Aboriginal archaeology that was present in all of the remote areas he visited, and from this he pursued studies in archaeology and went on to complete a Masters in Archaeology and Heritage Management at Flinders University. He presently works as a consulting Archaeologist. In 2019 Will became an apprentice teacher with Gilly Coote, roshi as his supervisor.

Gillian Coote, a senior resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre, met Robert Aitken Roshi in 1980, regularly attending his annual sesshin in Sydney as well as training periods and sesshin in Hawai'i. She also studied with John Tarrant and Subhana Barzaghi, from whom she received dharma transmission in June 2004 at Kodoji, Temple of the Ancient Ground. Gillian has been involved with developing sangha at Sydney Zen Centre since the early '80's - organising sesshins, editing SZC's journal, Mind Moon Circle and being involved in sangha ceremonies and activities. Inspired by their experience of sangha building at the Ring of Bone Zendo in California in 1982, Gilly and her architect/builder husband Tony, have built and maintained, with the help of the sangha, our bush zendo Kodoji at Gorricks Run. She trained with environmental activist and Buddhist scholar, Joanna Macy, and for fifteen years was the co-ordinator of the Sydney branch of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She has practised with Thich Nhat Hanh, attending his artists' retreat in Ojai, California and joined his pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in India and Nepal. She directed and produced 'The Awakening Bell', a documentary film made during his visit to Sydney. Gillian is a social documentary filmmaker, writer, grandmother and bush regenerator. She is supervising apprentice teacher, Will Moon.