Silent Zen retreats
Let's do it. Together.
In traditional Zen temple culture, the annual schedule of temple training and temple life is divided into two kinds of training modalities: Kyol Che and Hae Jae.
Kyol Che (“tightened Dharma”) refers to the three months during the summer or winter when Zen nuns and monks traditionally spend their time focused entirely on meditation retreat, concentrating on formal sitting practice for at least nine or ten hours a day in the Dharma Room (Korea: Soen Bang; Jap.: Zendo). The retreat is held in silence and the intensive schedule allows one to completely devote oneself to formal practice.
In addition, there are monthly 3-day retreats. (Please check our events section for schedule and updates.) No previous experience in retreats is required, but highly recommended; and one can sit during the long retreats anywhere from a minimum of 4 days to 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, whatever works for the retreatant’s schedule.
Anyone interested in sitting retreat is encouraged to attend at least the Evening or Morning Practice in the Zen Center, on several occasions. This will familiarize the retreatant with the teaching form and atmosphere of the temple.
Sitting meditation, chanting and bowing are the core of our formal practice during Kyol Che at ZCR.
Based on the wisdom of the Patriarchs, Zen Master Seung Sahn has compiled a list of “Temple Rules” that we follow as residents of ZCR, and which serve as guidelines for our Sangha life.
Formal meal during retreat
Book-reading, SMS/WhatsApp/etc chatting, social-media posting, and journal-writing are not permitted during the retreat. An intensive silent Zen retreat is not for everyone. It is not a relaxation experience, but a highly-focused effort in training the mind to let go of its delusions.