Intensive Zen Retreat in Oita Prefecture.

Tetsugyuji International Zen Temple in Oita Prefecture will hold an intensive beginners retreat Nov 1st thru Nov 4th.  The Head Abbot of Tetsugyuji is Reverend Paul Tesshin Silverman, he will be returning to Oita from New York to hold this special retreat in English. Prior to his relocation to New York, Rev. Silverman held these very popular retreats on a regular basis.  Participants for this intensive Zen training will be limited to the first 25 applicants. Applications will be on a first-come first-serve basis so if you are interested please respond quickly. For more information and details about the retreat (sesshin) write to:

Retreat details.

November 1st - November 4th Sesshin at Tetsugyuji Zen Temple


Friday Nov 1st:
- Pick up from Oita Station at 6pm.
- 7pm Arrive at Tetsugyuji Temple.
- 7pm Orientation followed by lights out.

Saturday, Sunday Nov 2nd,3rd:
- Wake up 4am
 Morning meditation 4:15 – 5:45am
- Cleaning/ Chanting 5:45 – 6:30
- Morning meal/juice 6:30
- Break until 7:30am
- Zazen meditation / Dokusan 7:30 – 10:30am
- Break 10:30 - 11am
- Meal/juice 11am.
- Break 11:30 – Noon.
- Chores Noon – 1pm
- Lecture 1pm – 2pm
- Break 2pm – 2:30pm
- Zazen meditation 2:30 – 4:30
- Macha break 4:30 – 5pm
- Break 5pm – 5:30
- Zazen meditation 5:30 – 7:30 pm
- Evening soup 7:30 – 8pm
- Preparation for bed
- Lights out 9pm.

Monday Nov 4th:

- Wake up 4am
- Morning meditation 4:15 – 5:45am
- Cleaning/ Chanting 5:45 – 6:45

- Break until 7:15am

- Full meal breakfast, go to local hot springs. We will then return to the temple for closings ceremony. Cars will leave for Oita Station at 2pm and arrive before 3pm.                                                                                                                          

Retreat Fee/Donation. The donation for this Zen retreat (sesshin) is Y30,000 via PayPal before Oct 15th - or Y40,000 at the door*. The retreat requires a minimum of 15 participants so please inform Rev. Silverman if you are intending on coming but cannot pay immediately ( The first 25 participants will be accepted, any payments arriving after that number will be returned to the sender.  Most of the participation fee is spent on purchasing the fresh fruits and vegetables for the retreat. Since fresh produce is costly in Japan and this produce is essential for the detoxification process, the fees are set accordingly. Any left over monies are donated to the temple to cover daily running expenses 

*Scholarships available. Contact Paul Tesshin for details. 

When you arrive in Oita please stand in front of the Mister Donuts at Oita Station for the 6pm pick-up.  Retreat donation covers transportation back and forth from Oita Station (provided participant arrives at scheduled time), all meals/juices, instructions and hot spring fee. Once accepted, monies are not refundable.


You should bring: sheets for your futon, personal toiletries, towel, and a few changes of clothes. Your clothes should be warm and comfortable – you’re going to be doing a lot of zazen/sitting and it may get chilly.

Most people that practice Zen do not self identify themselves at Buddhists. You will be sitting on cushions which have been shared by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Your meditation practice will become a valuable asset to whatever spiritual or intellectual discipline you follow. This sesshin is designed for the beginner so no prior experience or study is required. What is required is a strong desire and commitment to discipline your mind and body. As you can see from the schedule, sesshins are designed to create real change and are very demanding on the participant. For those that have some prior experience, this will be a good opportunity to strengthen your current practice and perhaps participate in dokusan.

Morning chanting is optional. For those that wish to participate you will be assigned other cleaning chores that do not conflict with the chanting practice.

If you are planning on driving, please contact us at the end of October by e-mail and we will send you directions/map.

Sesshins are conducted in silence. Rev. Silverman will give all instructions and lectures in English. Except for these instructions and essential communications, participants must remain silent during the retreat period. After the final meal there will plenty of time to share your experiences with the other participants in a relaxed environment. This sesshin will also be a detox, fast period. There will be plenty of nutritious liquids served (fresh juices, tea and soups) but you should prepare yourselves for this process.