Zen Center of Denver

Blue Mountain Sesshin, June 2015

By Cathy Wright

This year, the Blue Mountain sesshin coincided with the birth of summer. Every insect, bug, bird, flower, and long days of daylight filled me to the brim with awe and wonder. Due to the longer rounds of sitting and longer rounds of kinhin, nature just burst into the forefront of every activity and drew me into its arms.

This mountain sesshin comes once a year and holds seventeen students. The zendo uses solar batteries to run two ceiling fans, a refrigerator in the kitchen, and a few light bulbs. For nine years I have been a part of this mountain zazen.

This year the teishos were delivered by both Peggy Sensei and Karin Sensei, and came from the reading “Affirming Faith in Mind.” I was the tanto this year, and was able to step back and witness the harmony of samu necessary to pull a silent sesshin along day after day.

With all the hummingbirds darting around, flowers popping their heads up from the forest floor, and tall trees to give shade by day, the silent zazen was deep and rich with gratitude to be alive, to have a practice, and to be a part of the mystery of everyday existence.

The beautiful Blue mountain retreat center
A tree house / dorm room
The view from the dokusan tent