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Sesshins held at ZCLA in 2017.

Save the Date!

Bearing Witness at the Gravesites of Veterans on Memorial Day

Monday, May 28



Residential Training Opportunity

Resident training offers Zen students the opportunity to deepen their practice by living with a resident teacher and a community of practitioners. Residents combine Zen training with family and careers, engage in shared stewardship, and explore the dynamic life of Sangha. Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA) has two apartment buildings for its Residential Training Program.   Applicants with either a little or a lot of experience as a Zen student may apply. Before the application process begins, prospective residents are asked to complete the Introduction to Zen Meditation and A Practice Day classes. The Buddha Hand Circle (BHC) oversees the application and admission process. Interested parties can contact for information and requirements.   For the application and additional information, click here. 




Growing a Plum Blossom Sesshin

Wednesday, May. 23 eve. - Sunday, May 27

Led by Roshi Egyoku

The Zen Center is in silent retreat. The Zendo remains open to members during all scheduled sitting periods. For schedule, click here




Bearing Witness to Our Veterans

Monday, May 28, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Led by Roshi Egyoku

Zen Center members will spend the morning visiting the gravesites of Veterans at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which will be followed by an onsite Bearing Witness Council. 

Retreat Schedule:

9:30 AM Meet at Marne Avenue in the Cemetery (click here for Cemetery Map).
Reading of War Poems
9:45 AM Contemplative individual walking throughout the Cemetery, in silence.
10:00 AM For those who wish, there will be a Veteran’s Day Ceremony towards the
Entrance. This is optional.
11:30 AM Meet at the Lookout Hill at the corner of Lookout Drive and Belleau Wood Drive
(see cemetery map). We will meet on the grassy knoll.
11:30 AM Chant Circle Ceremony dedicated to Veterans
11:50 AM Council
1:00 PM End

For more details, click here

Please RSVP to or sign-up on Sangha House bulletin board by Friday, May 25.





Bearing Witness Council: "The Shadow of Your Smile"

Thursday, May 31, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (Service at 7:15 p.m.)

Led by Conrad Butsugen Romo

In this Bearing Witness to Shadow Council, we will explore: Smiling to hide the pain, shame, cover hostility, fear etc. As Dylan sang, "It's alright Ma, I'm only bleeding." Followed by tea and cookies. Everyone is welcome to attend.




Public Face-to-Face with Roshi Egyoku

Sunday, June 3, 11:00 a.m.

Preceded by Gate of Sweet Nectar Service at 8:30 a.m. and Zazen from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Followed by Sangha Lunch at 12:15. Open to all.

Roshi will pose a question or theme to the Sangha and we will take turns engaging with her in this Public Face-to-Face with a teacher. A wonderful opportunity to ask a question and learn from others. Everyone welcome.



Dharma Talk by Dharma-Holder Senshin Griffith

Thursday, June 7, 8:00 p.m. (Service 7:15; Zazen 7:30 p.m.)

Followed by tea and cookies. Everyone is welcome to attend.





June Zazenkai -- on the eve of the Jukai Ceremony

Friday, June 8 eve. 7:00 p.m (registration). Zazenkai begins 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, June 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Led by Mark Shogen Bloodgood

Everyone is encouraged to come to this silent and restful day with zazen, service, work, meals, Dharma Talk, and face-to-face meeting. The schedule is similar to a day of sesshin. Open to everyone. Zendo remains open for non-participants. Deadline to register is Wednesday, June 6 (a $25 fee will be charged for any changes after this date). Housing not guaranteed. First come, first served.

for application click here.

for fee structure click here.

for schedule click here.



Jukai (Ceremony for Receiving the Precepts)

Sunday, June 10, 10:30 a.m.

Roshi Egyoku, Preceptor

Several of our beloved Sangha members will be receiving Jukai. Everyone is encouraged to support and witness together this important Sangha rite of passage for Yoko Bajra, Jenny Bright, David Goodsmith, Marley Klaus-Dowling and Nancy Marquez.      




Teisho by Roshi Egyoku

Thursday, June 14, 8:00 p.m. (Service 7:15; Zazen 7:30 p.m.)

Followed by tea and cookies. Everyone is welcome to attend.





Reading and Talk by Melina Sempill Watts, the author of "Tree"

Sunday, June 17, 11:00 a.m.

Preceded by Gate of Sweet Nectar Service at 8:30 a.m. and Zazen from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Followed by Sangha Lunch at 12:15. Open to all.

“Tree” is not a typical novel. Watts wrote the story, centered on a sentient tree, in the genre of magical realism, which basically means her story is based at once on fact, fiction, a little bit of magic and a whole lot of charm and fantastic out-of-the-box thinking. “Tree lives in one place and the world comes to it,” Watts said, as she attempted to convey the mystery and scope of the story. The tree lives for a long, long time, so life around the tree—and life in the Santa Monica Mountains— evolves into multiple stories that encompass scientific facts about hydrology and geology and historical lore such as that of the Chumash Indians. Open to all.




Atonement Ceremony

Thursday, June 21, 7:30 p.m.

During this ceremony of renewing the vows and Precepts, we each have an opportunity to bear witness to our conduct in thoughts, words, and actions. Everyone is welcome. Those who have received the Precepts are asked to attend on a regular basis.



Day of Reflection on Precept #7: The Practice of Not Elevating Myself and Blaming Others

Saturday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Led by Frank Genku Martinez

Approximately every third Saturday is devoted to the Zen Bodhisattva Precepts. The day begins with a recitation of the precepts and includes zazen and face-to-face meetings with our teachers, a brief precept talk, and a precept circle. Open to everyone. For precise schedule click here.




Guest Speaker: Roshi James Myoun Ismael Ford

Sunday, June 24, 10:30 a.m.

Preceded by Gate of Sweet Nectar Service at 8:30 a.m. and Zazen from 9:00-10:15 a.m. Followed by Book Signing with tea and cookies 11:50-12:15. Open to all.

Roshi Myoun will give a talk and read from his new book Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons.  After a Q & A, there will be a book signing in the Sangha House.  There will be copies of the book available in our bookstore.


For more about the book, click here.


Roshi James Ismael Ford is the Senior Priest at the Blue Cliff Zen Network. James has been a student of Zen for fifty years. He is dually credentialed as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest and as a Unitarian Universalist minister. He lives with his spouse Jan Seymour-Ford and their three-legged cat Cassie in Long Beach, California. 






Dharma Talk by Lorraine Gessho Kumpf

Thursday, June 28, 8:00 p.m. (Service 7:15; Zazen 7:30 p.m.)

Followed by tea and cookies. Everyone is welcome to attend.






For a pdf, of our 2018 Sesshins and Retreats, click here