Urban Sesshin: The Leisurely One

March 16 - March 18

In this sesshin we bring together the practice of zazen with a focus on the arts as a way to encounter ourselves in a fresh way. Our Shuso, Hon Go, a serious student of drawing, will lead us in a workshop on Drawing; Joshin will lead us in a workshop on Writing; and Seiki, an award-winning artist, will lead us in a workshop on Watercolors.

The theme of this Urban Sesshin is The Leisurely One (from Shodoka). Our aim is to allow ourselves to dip into this state of mind as we attend to how our world appears to us in novel form. Truly, this is an opportunity to allow ourselves to practice Beginner’s Mind.

As always, there will be a zazenkai  (intensive day of sitting) on Saturday before the celebration of Shuso Hossen on Sunday, when Shuso takes his seat as a Senior Student and gives his first dharma talk.

Urban Sesshin is typically a joyous time of sharing in the treasure of sangha. Within the container of zazen we give ourselves over to the joy of discovery. It promises to be memorable!

The daily schedule is available at the bottom of this page, and you may also address inquiries to registrar@villagezendo.org.


Suggested Fees:
All fees are suggested, and if you can’t give the full recommended amount, we hope that you’ll give what you can afford. Your participation is important to us.

  • Members
    • $120 per day
    • $300 for full Urban Sesshin (Mar 16-18) & zazenkai (Mar 19)
  • Non-Members
    • $150 per day
    • $400 for full Urban Sesshin (Mar 16-18) & zazenkai (Mar 19)

Michael HonGo Brooks, Shuso and a student at the Village Zendo, 
has been studying Classical and Academic drawing, painting and sculpture 
for many years and appreciates the spacious creativity that Zen offers.

A Drawing Workshop with HonGo

March 16
10:30 am — 12:00 pm
2:00pm — 4:00 pm
There is a period of zazen before each session, at 10:00am and 1:30pm, respectively.

Drawing in the Classical and Academic style is what I have studied for around thirty years. It involves careful observation and planning. What we will be doing during the workshop will have nothing to do with that. We will approach the paper with pencil, ink and color with a beginners mind and allow ourselves to flow with the medium with no expectations, using the Neurographic drawing approach.

Suggested Materials - Click Here

The materials I prefer to use are a medium weight drawing paper, AP Microm 1.2 pen and Prismacolor color pencils or colored markers. Please use what you’re comfortable with.

These can be purchased at art or office supply stores such as:
Dick Blick, Michaels, Staples etc.

The list below are suggestions but you will need to have paper, pencil, pen or marker, and color medium with a small range of colors that you might like to work with and a coin.

A good quality paper or sketchpad 9 x12 (such as Strathmore).

#2 yellow pencil, Graphite 2B (there are many brands).

AP Micron 1.2, Sharpie twin tip-fine/ultra fine (they work well but have an unpleasant odor) or similar.

Any dry medium you are comfortable working with, such as:
Prismacolor Pencils, Crayons, markers

Additional Objects
The exercises involve using circles and other shapes in the drawing that can be traced.

Such as: Jar lids, coins, credit cards or any shapes that interests you.

Barbara Joshin O’Hara, co-founder of The Village Zendo, has taught expository writing for 30 years, is a psychotherapist in private practice and loves the improvisational element of Zen.

A Writing Workshop with Joshin

March 17
10:30 am — 12:00 pm
2:00pm — 4:00 pm
There is a period of zazen before each session, at 10:00am and 1:30pm, respectively.

There is the leisurely one,
Walking the Tao…

When we can bring pen to paper without an agenda or without expectations (no bad writing, no good writing, no loss, no gain) — only giving our attention to what wants to be said right now — we walk the Tao. We meet the Leisurely One. No one can gainsay us. We are beyond criticism evaluation or judgement. That, in a nutshell is our practice in this workshop. Bring your favorite writing tools, a desire to wander aimlessly and a willingness to be surprised.

Emma Seiki Tapley is an American painter who lives and works in New York City. She is known for her oil paintings on panel of inverted landscapes or reflections.


A Watercolor Workshop with Seiki

March 18
10:30 am — 12:00 pm
2:00pm — 4:00 pm
There is a period of zazen before each session, at 10:00am and 1:30pm, respectively.

There is the leisurely one,
Walking the Tao, beyond philosophy,
Not avoiding fantasy, not seeking truth.
The real nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature itself;
The empty delusory body is the very body of the Dharma.

Please join me in a leisurely exploration of Not Knowing in the traditional way of watercolour. We will begin with the color wheel. This is an endless exploration of yellow, red and blue that can create all the infinite colors.

You will need just three watercolor paints, a ruler, a pencil, some plates, some water, paper and one brush. See below for a complete list of suggested materials.

In the afternoon we will investigate various techniques, mark making, gradations, overlay, wet on wet, wet on dry and begin to explore painting a very simple flower.

Seiki’s Workshop Materials List - Click Here

Links are included for those that would like to order any of these supplies online.

Daily Schedule

Morning zazen between 7:30 -8:30am is open to the whole sangha and will take place at our regular online zendo link. The remainder of the day will only be available to registered participants.

Thursday evening zazen and Dharma talk are open to the whole sangha at regular online Zendo link.

7:30am  Zazen (Gatha of Atonement – 7:35am)
7:55  Verse of the Kesa, Stretch
8:00  Zazen
8:25  Work Gatha, Shuso words

Breakfast and Work Practice

10:00  Zazen
10:25  Stretch
10:30 – 12:00pm Workshop


1:30  Zazen
1:55  Stretch
2:00 – 4:00 Workshop


6:00  Zazen
6:25  Stretch
6:30  Zazen
6:55  Stretch
7:00  Zazen
7:25  4 Vows

THURSDAY EVENING SCHEDULE — March 17 – open to the public

5:30  Zazen
5:55  Stretch
6:00  Dharma talk
6:25  Service and 4 Vows

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