Sesshin

(Literally: ‘gather or touch the mind’) An intensive meditation retreat usually lasting 3, 5 or 7 days. The word ‘retreat’ may be misleading however, as the effect of a sesshin is often to let more of the world into our lives instead of escaping from it. Suffice it to say that a sesshin is a silent retreat that involves many periods of zazen and the opportunity to have private interviews with a teacher (see dokusan). Meals are often eaten oryoki style, and periods of samu are generally included.