Registration is now open.
Note for travelers: airporter shuttle service is now available - click here to register.
New in 2019: we'll be eating our meals in the Zen 3-bowl Oryoki style. You must bring your own oryoki set. If you need a set we recommend these sets from Still Sitting.
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, dokusan 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.
See also our new Samish Island Work Sesshin with Nomon Tim Burnett - an affordable 3-day sesshin being held at the same site June 30th - July 3rd.
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 only appropriate to those who have sat sesshin with us before. We are unable to offer other attendance choices. Signing up is making a commitment to be part of the retreat for the entire period you signed up for.
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
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 attendance options other than the three listed above can be accommodated.
- 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.
Housing is provided with three options:
E-Cabins are recently built multi-room cabins with a bath shared with one other room. E-Cabins are in short supply in this retreat. Please choose a rustic cabin if that is possible for you in order to leave the e-cabins for those with health challenges.
Full Retreat only, room alone: $785 - $885 sliding scale
Full Retreat, room shared: $620 - $720
Half Retreat, room shared $375 - $425
| e-Cabin Exterior
| e-Cabin Interior
Rustic Cabins - simple plywood cabins built in the 1950's. Camp style bathrooms in a separate building. Most rustic 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.
| Rustic Cabin, exterior
| Rustic cabin, interior
Rustic Cabins Full Retreat: $595 - $695 sliding scale
Rustic Cabins Half of retreat: $355 - $405 sliding scale
Tent or RV - you can bring a tent and camp on the lawn. A lower cost option.
Tent Full Retreat: $490 - $590 sliding scale
Tent Half of Retreat: $290 - $340 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 offer 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.
Dates and Cancellation
- January 15- Registration Opens.
- May 1 - Final scholarship awards.
- May 14 - Last day to cancel with full refund. Full payment due.
- June 1 - Registration Closes. Last day to cancel with partial refund. Incomplete (unpaid) registrations will be cancelled at this time to make room for people on the waitlist.
Scholarships are available for one quarter of retreat costs. If funds allow, additional funds may be available. During the registration process an opportunity to request a scholarship is available.
Samish Island Campground
We have rented the Community of Christ's wonderful camp at the eastern end of Samish Island for over a twenty years for our residential retreats. A wonderful place where sea meets sky.
11565 Scott Rd, Bow, WA 98232
Map and Directions