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Zen Sesshins

Seek Your True Nature


Zen Sesshins (retreats) are a container for personal growth through mindful practice. They are also the fundamental reason Saranam exists. If you’re looking for a structured environment and thoughtful guidance to help you develop your practice, you’ve come to the right place.

Our sesshins are appropriate for anyone who's interested in meditation and going beyond basic mindfulness to understand what's behind it, around it, and what moves us to seek essential peace. Zen calls this our "true nature." 

Interested in attending? Check our our events calendar for upcoming retreats! 

What to Expect

Sesshins include silent meditation (sitting), thought-provoking talks (dharma talks), and one-on-one conversations with Bruce in the dokosan (interview) room.

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. We generally sit two or three periods at a time, and each period is followed by walking meditation.

There are some devotional aspects to our practice: chanting sutras, bowing, prostrations, and silence 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.

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 two periods and/or dharma talk

  • Supper

  • Sit/walk two periods

  • Lights out - but you’re welcome to enjoy more sitting into the night

Bruce Harris, Teacher




American born, now living in France, Bruce Harris has been practicing Zen for 35 years. Bruce became a monk in the Rinzai school, then turned to the Sanbô Kyôdan school, 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 practice of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, taught by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. 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.

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