This year our Rohatsu sesshin was held at Shambhala Mountain Center, a remarkable 600-acre property by Red Feather Lakes brimming with pines, aspens, snow, trails, deer, rabbits, magpies, and wind. Participants took advantage of the rest periods and the days of silence to hike to the awe-inspiring stupa nestled in the back of the valley, circumambulating on one of the tiered walkways or doing zazen inside, beneath the gaze of an eighteen-feet-tall Buddha figure.
Our zazen together was truly profound, marked most of all by the hiss and howl of the mountain wind, which seemed unceasing until the last day, when we woke to a blanket of snow and a deep silence all across the landscape. In reverence we closed our sesshin by sharing briefly our reflections and feelings of gratitude, before making our vows and final prostrations.
Afterward, most of us went to the stupa for a short tour, pictured here. Our guide regaled us with facts about the stupa’s construction, symbolism, and history, while we gazed around in wonder. We are truly grateful for the long labors and practice of these fellow Buddhists, who made this place and this sesshin possible. Gassho!