Our annual 7-day (8 nights) silent Zen sesshin with Zoketsu Norman Fischer includes seven days and eight nights of silent practice of sitting and walking meditation in this beautiful church camp on the water on Samish Island in the Skagit Valley. Retreat includes dharma talks by Norman and other Northwest teachers, doksusan and practice discussion, sitting and walking meditation, and delicious vegetarian meals. A deep time for practice and reflection with the support of sangha and teachers.
Many photos of Samish are available on our Photos page.
You may attend the entire retreat, or the first or second half. Second half attendance is appropriate to those who have sat sesshin with us before only. We are unable to offer other attendance choices due to the size of the sesshin.
Full Retreat - Friday 5:00pm to Saturday at noon
First Half - Friday 5:00pm to Tuesday at 5pm
Second Half - Tuesday at 5pm to Saturday at noon.
Prerequisites & Requirements
While less demanding than some Zen sesshin this is a rigorous and structured experience. To benefit from being at Samish Sesshin please abide by the following requirements.
- You should have attended at least one full day formal meditation retreat before attending this 7-day retreat. Please do not register if you have never sat a full day of formal meditation (in Zen or other traditions is fine).
- If you have never attended Samish sesshin please start at the beginning (attend full retreat or first half) and do not attend just the second half. Orientation and instructions are offered at the beginning only.
- No other attendance options other than the three listed above can be accommodated. Retreatants coming and going at other times increases the organizational work for our volunteers considerably and can disrupt the sesshin experience for the community.
- This is a silent retreat without talking, reading, writing, computer or cell phone use. Please be prepared to follow this guideline fully.
- Following the full schedule is a core practice of Zen. Some alternate schedules can be arranged with the Ino in cases of health and other needs.
- Plan on remaining at Samish Island camp during the entire time of your sesshin attendance, not leaving for errands or appointments, etc., and remaining at the camp through final clean up at noon on Saturday unless illness or unavoidable travel arrangements prevent this.
Most housing will be private (not shared), however if couples or friends are willing to share a cabin this can make a difference in accommodating everyone if the sesshin is full.
Housing is provided with three options:
E-Cabins are recently built with a bath shared with one other cabin.
Full Retreat only: $610 - $710 sliding scale
| e-Cabin Exterior
| e-Cabin Interior
Regular Cabins - simple plywood cabins built in the 1950's. Camp style bathrooms in a separate building.
| Rustic Cabin, exterior
| Rustic cabin, interior
Rustic Cabins Full Retreat: $510 - $610 sliding scale
Rustic Cabins Half of retreat: $290 - $340 sliding scale
Tent - you can bring a tent and camp on the lawn. A lower cost option.
Tent Full Retreat: $410 - $510 sliding scale
Tent Half of Retreat: $220 - $270 sliding scale
Notes on fees:
1) Dana (teacher donations) is not included in these fees. Registration fees cover retreat costs with any extra to Red Cedar Zen Community for our ongoing expenses and costs. An opportunity to make teacher donation (dana) will be available at the site.
2) Paying higher on the sliding scale enables us to allow scholarships. In the registration process you first pick your housing and stay length which adds the base fee. Then additional funds may be added on the next screen.
Scholarships are available for one quarter of retreat costs. If funds allow a second grant of another quarter might be possible (to a total of half of sesshin cost). Please apply with an email request to the registrar as soon as possible and no later than May 27th. We typically do two rounds of funding for scholarships depending on demand. Earlier requests help us to assess need.
Samish Island Campground
We have rented the Community of Christ's wonderful camp at the eastern end of Samish Island for over a dozen years for our residential retreats. A wonderful place where sea meets sky.
11565 Scott Rd, Bow, WA 98232
Map and Directions
Need to pay a deposit only at first? You can pay any amount by clicking on your invoice, which should be visible in the lower right of your screen when you are logged in. If you can't see this, deposits ($50) can be made with direct paypals to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your patience as we work out new payment methods.