In the heart of the Périgord Vert, overlooking a large lake and surrounded by forests, Kanshoji is an ideal place to discover the Way of Zen through various activities.
Initiation to Zen meditation will of course be at the centre of this discovery retreat . Throughout your stay, you will be supervised by elders to whom you can turn in case of difficulties.
The retreats take 2 to 6 days ; you could, if you so wish, extend your stay. Dates and registration : calendar
“In Zen, we have the expression “shoshin”, which means “beginner’s mind”. The goal of the practice is to always keep our beginner’s mind. […] Our original mind embraces everything and for a Zen practitioner, the most important thing is not to be in duality. So you should not lose the mind that is self-sufficient. It is not a closed mind, but in reality a new and available mind. If your mind is new, it is always available for anything; it is open to everything. The beginner’s mind contains many possibilities; the expert’s mind contains few.”
(Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, in “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”)
Daily life retreats
“The Real Buddhism is cultivated at the heart of everyday life.”
(Master Kohô Chisan)
A spiritual retreat at the heart of the daily life
This monastic retreat of 5 to 10 days allows to share the daily life of the monks, nuns and other residents of the monastery.
In the monastery, great attention is paid to others. The Buddha way teaches us to live in peace with each other. During this retreat, we learn to live in harmony, together, through meditation, ceremonies and daily life activities.
We hear well only in silence, we see well only with the eye of wisdom, looking inwards. This is why we are asked to protect silence and to maintain a certain sobriety in our relationships with others.
The course of a monastic retreat
At the beginning of your retreat, you experience a period of solitude and silence. During this period, you practice Zen meditation several times a day. The rest of the time, you remain alone with yourself. After this period, you join the monks and nuns in the activities of the monastery.
The day usually begins at 6 am with the practice of zazen. The time is then divided between ceremonies, teachings, daily life tasks and meetings. The day ends with the practice of zazen, bedtime is at 9:30 pm.
In order to preserve the quality of your retreat, we ask you not to use your telephone or tablet.
How to take part to the monastic retreat?
To make a spiritual retreat in Kanshoji, it is necessary to contact the secretariat, by mail, at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +33(0)553520635.
Those who are new to the practice of Zen are welcome to attend a monastic retreat in the coming periods: From the 26 of September until the 27 of October 2022 – From the 7th of November until the 4th of December 2022 It is also possible to be initiated to the practice of Zen during the discovery retreats. Members of our association who have been initiated to the practice of Zen are welcome at any time of the year.
A spiritual retreat the time of a weekend
Every month, the monastery holds a retreat (sesshin*).
This monastic retreat, which lasts two to three days, places particular emphasis on zazen, with four periods of meditation per day. That is how we can fully live the present moment, with a calm, vast and clear mind.
We let go of our selfishness, harmonise ourselves with others and follow cosmic life.
A spiritual retreat for beginners?
An initiation to zazen is offered to beginners the day before the sesshin and support is provided by the monks throughout the weekend.
Dates and registration: Calendar
At the time of the Buddha, all the disciples used to gather around him during the monsoon season to practice together. This tradition has been kept alive to the present time. During these summer retreats, you are invited to take part in the everyday practice of the monastery: meditation, teachings – followed by Noble Silences – and disinterested activity at the service of the community… Through the practice of meditation, zazen, everyone can come back to a simple and sober life. This is the normal condition of the mind continued in the day-to-day activity and the encounter with others. With an appeased mind, we can find an answer to existential questions and address the situations in our lives with wisdom and compassion.
A special attention to new comers
During this summer retreat, special attention is given to participants who are new to the practice, with teachings on the different forms of Sôtô Zen practice and exchanges with the nuns and monks of the monastery. From 9 July to 24 August 2021, you can register for the dates and the length of time (5 days minimum) that suit you.
A spiritual retreat to deepen the different forms of sôtô zen
This retreat, called ango* lasts three months. Time is divided between zazen, ceremonies, rituals, samu, teachings and practising the different forms of Sôtô zen. Participants sit zazen, eat their meals and sleep in the dojo. Submerged in the reality of interdependence, they leave their selfishness behind and pay great attention to others.
For whom is it intended?
It is intended for monks and nuns – sometimes bodhisattvas – who have responsibilities in a place of practice or who wish to deepen their commitment to the Way. It is necessary for every Zen Buddhist monk (nun) who aspires to become a teacher of the Way. Dates: January 15 – April 13, 2022 – Registration: contact email@example.com