A sesshin (literally, “to gather the mind”) is a time when formal Zen practice is the primary focus of what we do. Sometimes these are informally called “retreats,” but in actuality they involve going forward into the heart of our lives.


Participation in sesshin is open to community members and others who have had some experience with Buddhist practice and meditation. Each sesshin offers an extended opportunity to settle the mind and body and open to the deep wisdom of human life. These are excellent opportunities to strengthen and deepen the practice of presence, including benefiting from the support of others.

Sesshins at Compassionate Ocean

      Fall 2022

  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:00 P.M.—Thursday, Dec. 8, Noon. (Rohatsu)   View details>>

      Winter 2023

The weekend sesshins will include sitting and walking meditation, a Dharma talk, a work period, and an opportunity to meet with a teacher. Each weekend sesshin also includes three vegetarian meals on Saturday. 

Led by Michael & Joen O'Neal

Fee: by donation

Day of Mindfulness Retreat 

This retreat is part of the MBSR program and is included for all current participants in the MBSR course. It is also open to graduates of past Compassionate Ocean MBSR courses on a donation basis. People not enrolled in the current course should register in advance to reserve a space.

Saturday, Mar. 4, 9:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. (via Zoom)

Rohatsu: Buddha's Enlightenment Sesshin

The December Rohatsu (“eighth day”) sesshin commemorates and reenacts the seven days of meditation culminating in the enlightenment of the Buddha, traditionally celebrated on Dec. 8. Rohatsu sesshins take place at Zen centers throughout the world at this time. This sesshin offers a special opportunity to touch the depth of human life, supporting and being supported by innumerable beings.

If this will be your first sesshin with us, please call Michael at Compassionate Ocean in advance to discuss.

Full participation is encouraged; however, partial participation is available for one to seven days. Participants should plan to attend all sessions beginning at 7:00 PM on their start date through 9:00 PM on their end date.

Led by Michael & Joen O'Neal

Fee: by donation

Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, Nov. 29.



Participation in retreats is offered by donation. You may register online using one of the buttons below—select the option for  your preferred payment method (online or check).