Affiliate of the
Silent Thunder Order
 STOrder.org

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Retreat Calendar

 

January 2015 

 
01/19
 ASZC  Sewing Retreat and Class  
       

February 2015

 
02/13 - 02/14
 TSRC  Zazenkai - "Why Study: Why not Just Meditate?" - Seminar  
       

March 2015

 
03/06 - 03/08  ASZC Sewing Retreat 2015  
03/13 - 03/14
 ASZC  Zazenkai - "Finding Balance Beyond Meditation: Social Samadhi" - Practicum  
       

April 2015

 
04/11
 ASZC  Newcomers Zazenkai Retreat  
       

May 2015

 
05/03
 ASZC  May Sewing Retreat and Class  
05/09
 ASZC  Zazenkai I - "Thirst: Zen, Addiction, and Recovery"  
05/15 - 05/16
 TSRC  Zazenkai II - "Finding True Nature"  
       

June 2015

 
06/20
 ASZC Retreat - "Beginner's Mind: The Zen approach to working with mind"  
       

July 2015

 
07/08 - 07/12  ASZC Precepts / STO Conference 2015  
     

August 2015

 
08/22
 ASZC  Zazenkai - "Thirst: The Nature of Craving - A Zen Opera in Three Acts"  
       

September 2015

 
09/04-06
 NZC  Fall Retreat in Nashville, TN  
       

October 2015

 
   
       

November 2015

 
     
       

December 2015

 
     
       

   

 






 

Registration

To register for any of these events, please follow the link above for the respective retreat. 


 

Cost

Retreat fees go to support the overhead of the Zen Center and to fund necessary investments in future program and infrastructure. While these are collected on the honor system, they are not considered optional. There are limited discount and sponsorship opportunities available for staff, full time students or those in need of financial assistance. Please inquire at time of registration. The fees covers the cost of meals and overnight accommodations as specified.

Many people choose to attend only a portion of each retreat. Attendees should inquire about how to prorate the cost based on their planned attendance schedule.

Hardship scholarships and work tuition are available upon request and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. On-staff Disciples, Priests, and residents are not required to pay fees.

In addition, Dana (the perfection of giving) should be added in for the support of the teachers.

Partial Attendance

As a lay practice center, we rejoice in all participation that our members can arrange and recognize that most have responsibilities which prevent full attendance. For those unable to participate for the full retreat, please consult the schedule to arrive and leave during appropriate break times and please be mindful of the increased intensity of those attending full-time. Please be especially attentive to whether a cushion is occupied before sitting on it!

Overnight space is limited and so many choose to commute. Full-attendance commuters may choose to wait until 8:30am to arrive (but are welcome at 6:00am).

All attendees who are new to retreats at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center are required to attend the orientation session.


 

Overnight Accommodations

The Atlanta Soto Zen Center has very spartan facilities for overnight accommodations (think summer camp). Multiple occupancy room spaces are available on a first-come first-served basis.

Please bring a sleeping bag and linens if possible.


We do not have full-time staff and so you should plan your arrival for the beginning of the event.


 

Transportation

Please see our location page for driving directions and public transportation (Marta) options to the center.

Airport transportation is available through public transportation (there is a station in the airport). For bus transfer, see our location page. The closest station to the ASZC is the Lindberg station for taxi service (approx. $15). Airport Metro Shuttle and Atlanta Superior Shuttle also service our location (1167D Zonolite Place, Atlanta, 30306).


 

Meals

Multiple day retreats include meals, but participation in the kitchen is expected. Meals are vegetarian and dairy - those with special needs should notify upon registration.


 

Cancellation Policy

Extended retreats may be canceled or moved due to insufficient registrations. All registrants will be notified at least one week prior to the start of the retreat. Weekend sesshins will be canceled only due to extreme circumstances.The Atlanta Soto Zen Center offers a regular schedule of sesshin and zazenkai (longer and shorter zazen retreats).

Sesshin, literally "to unify the mind", is an intensive meditation retreat offered periodically to deepen our practice.  Characterized by deep introspection and silence, sesshin is a wonderful opportunity to receive personal guidance in private interviews with the teachers, to draw from the strength of the sangha practicing together, and to experience the deep stillness that lies within each one of us.  All are encouraged to attend sesshin whenever possible.

Weekend or one-day zazenkai is offered every month at the in-town center, the second weekend of the month. Longer sesshin retreats are offered periodically both at the in-town center and at nearby retreat locations with overnight accommodations and the ability to completely immerse your self in the sesshin practice.

Our sesshin and zazenkai follow three basic types of schedule (click title for example schedule):

  •  
  • Buddha - is an opportunity for you to deepen your practice through intensive immersion in zazen. The only interruptions to the daily sitting schedule are for meals and services and to wrap around the regular morning, evening and weekend schedules. This will give you a clear perspective on your daily practice. Those who have experienced this “no frills” kind of extended retreat testify to its effect on the meaning of zazen, and a resultant clarification of the meaning of Buddha’s enlightenment, which we celebrate by sitting all night near Dec. 8th.
  • Dharma - is an opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of the teachings of Buddhism in the context of intensive zazen. Text materials will be provided and the sesshin leader will deliver a series of talks on the subject, and facilitate study periods and dialog. During sesshin you will be discouraged from reading any material other than that provided for study hall. In this way you will be able to focus on the content offered and through zazen more fully integrate your understanding of it into your immediate experience.
  • Sangha - is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the practice community by learning the traditional chants and protocols of Soto Zen liturgy and practices in a context of intensive zazen practice. While providing ample zazen time, sangha sesshin also provides more opportunity for personal interaction through chanting, work practice, training and discussion.


The primary teacher for each retreat is our Abbot, Zenkai Taiun Michael Elliston. In addition, Sensei will invite either guest teachers or senior students to assist in the teaching of these retreats. The retreats are staffed by the members of the Silent Thunder Order, which comprises Sensei's students. At the longer retreats, the staff will include an Ino (overall retreat and zendo coordinator), Tenzo (food service coordinator) and Work Captain (task coordinator). For the weekend retreats, these functions may be condensed.

When you register for a retreat, you will be contacted by the Ino or Work Captain to confirm your plans and schedule participation. While full retreat is recommended, we do allow partial participation for those with other duties.

If you have any questions or would like to apply for a staff position, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..