Sesshin Guidelines

There are certain recommendations that we follow in order to foster an environment in which we can all practice. Once the sesshin begins, remember that every moment is a practice opportunity.


  • We observe the basic sesshin precautions of silence and inward focus
  • No unnecessary talking.
  • No social courtesies.
  • No unnecessary looking around (keep eyes at a 45° angle).
  • No unassigned reading.
  • Walk mindfully with hands in shashu.
  • No singing, radios, headphones, or other distractions.


  • Clothes should be in good condition and of dark, subdued tones.
  • Sitting robes are encouraged.
  • Clothing should be weather-appropriate (in winter, warm coat, hat, gloves, and boots for outside kinhin and work practice).
  • Bring slip-on shoes for inside use, and shoes/boots for outside use.
  • Bring clothes for yoga and running shoes for exercise.


  • Maintain personal hygiene.
  • Do not wear perfumes or strong scents.
  • Smoke only outdoors.

Be On Time For All Activities

  • Be at your seat 10 minutes before dawn zazen, and 5 minutes before other sitting periods begin.
  • Be seated in the zendo by the end of the second round of the han.
  • For work period, gather as soon as the work leader signals.

Other Items To Bring

  • Own towel and toiletries.
  • Own yoga mat, if you have one.
  • Own alarm clock/watch.
  • Insect repellent and sun lotion in summer.

If you have specific needs or concerns, or if this is your first sesshin, please let the registrar or sesshin coordinators know before the beginning of the sesshin.