Teisho

Literally: presentation of the shout. Commonly: a talk by a Zen teacher (a sensei or roshi). The talk is not a sermon or an academic lecture; it is more a presentation of insight than an exposition of factual knowledge. Though not limited to sesshin, a daily teisho traditionally is part of the schedule during sesshin. Often a koan is discussed, and on occasion some teachers will permit a question and answer period following the teisho. Sometimes people not familiar with Zen are invited. Attendees are allowed to sit in a relaxed posture and may quietly shift position to remain comfortable. Instead of peering intently at the teacher and concentrating on every word, some students will look at nothing in particular and just allow the words to wash over them; thereby placing less emphasis on concepts, yet trusting the value of the talk to sink in.