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Sun, Sep 22


Saranam Retreat Center

Sesshin with Bruce Harris

Led by Bruce Harris, this sesshin is appropriate for anyone who's had some experience with meditation and seeks to better understand, and deepen, that practice. Ultimately, Zen offers a way to recognize and embody our true nature.

Sesshin with Bruce Harris
Sesshin with Bruce Harris

Time & Location

Sep 22, 2024, 4:00 PM – Sep 28, 2024, 1:00 PM

Saranam Retreat Center, Montrose, WV 26283, USA

About The Event

Zen Sesshins (retreats) include silent meditation (sitting), thought-provoking talks (dharma talks), and one-on-one conversations with Bruce in the dokusan (interview) room. Full participation from beginning to end, if not obligatory, is highly recommended. Leave smartphones, ipads, and all electrical devices at home, or at least turned off, letting family, friends and colleagues know that you are on retreat, and unavailable for the duration.

Arrival time: Plan to arrive before 5pm on Sunday. Dinner will be served at 6 and the sesshin will begin at 7pm. 

Departure time: Saturday late morning, staying for lunch for those who wish.

Typical Daily Schedule

  • Meet in the Zendo. Sit/walk two periods
  • Breakfast
  • Meet again in the Zendo for a dharma talk
  • Tea break, more sitting, begin individual sessions with Bruce
  • Lunch
  • Work period and/or siesta
  • Sit/walk 2-3 periods and dharma talk
  • Supper
  • Sit/walk two periods
  • Lights out - but you’re welcome to enjoy more sitting into      the night

​ We generally sit two or three periods at a time, and each period is followed by walking meditation. If sitting on a cushion on the floor for 20 – 25 minutes at a time is too hard on the joints, you’re always welcome to use a chair.

​There are also some devotional aspects to our practice: chanting sutras, bowing, prostrations, and silence throughout the retreat unless there is a real need to speak (usually in the kitchen). We’re also encouraged to take walks away from the house to talk, aspiring to get beyond chitchat.

About Bruce Harris

American born, now living in France, Bruce Harris has been practicing Zen for 50 years. Bruce became a monk in the Rinzai school, then turned to the Sanôzen lineage, studying at San'un Zendo in Kamamura under the direction of Kôun Yamada. Since Yamada Roshi's death in 1989, he has studied with his successors Jiun Kubota and Ryôun Yamada. Bruce has been authorized to teach in this tradition, which combines the Rinzai and Sôtô schools. He is also inspired by his encounter with the heart centered transmissions of Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and the early desert fathers. Very open-minded and interested in all traditions, Bruce allows his students to feel that we’re all on a path together. Bruce is a painter and wood-block artist.

Cost: $80/day; this includes dorm-style lodging. Total for Sunday evening to Saturday morning is $440.  Registration fees are non-refundable if you cancel. However, if the retreat is cancelled by the teacher or by Saranam, you will receive a refund. Registration deadline: September 1.

Scholarships are available. Must apply by September 1. Contact us at

Food: We share meal preparation and coordinate these meals via email before the event. If your diet requires you to cook your own meals,  you may have full use of the kitchen.

For directions or other questions, contact us at

COVID Precautions

Testing: Please test at home before you come to the retreat.  If for some reason you cannot purchase a test before you come, please let us know and we will give it to you at the cost of the test.

If you start to experience symptoms during the weekend, it would be wise to test again. Saranam is surrounded by nature (and potentially unfamiliar allergens), but better to be safe than sorry.

If you test positive: For the protection of the group, we will need to ask anyone who tests positive during the sesshin to leave the retreat. If this happens, you can request a refund of your registration fee.  CDC recommendations at this time include five days of isolation and an additional five days of wearing a well-fitting mask whenever in close proximity to others.

Claim Your Spot

  • Full sesshin

    This ticket covers tuition and lodging for the full sesshin.

  • Per night

    This ticket includes tuition and lodging for one night




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