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Sesshins held at ZCLA in 2019.

Save the Date!

End of Year Sesshin

December 27 eve -30



Residential Training Opportunity

Resident training offers Zen students the opportunity to deepen their practice by living with a resident teacher and a community of practitioners. Residents combine Zen training with family and careers, engage in shared stewardship, and explore the dynamic life of Sangha. Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA) has two apartment buildings for its Residential Training Program.   Applicants with either a little or a lot of experience as a Zen student may apply. Before the application process begins, prospective residents are asked to complete the Introduction to Zen Meditation and A Practice Day classes. The Buddha Hand Circle (BHC) oversees the application and admission process. Interested parties can contact for information and requirements.   For the application and additional information, click here. 



NOTE: The Zen Center is closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays from Monday, November 25 to Tuesday, December 3. We will re-open on Wednesday, December 4.




Exploring Householder Koans: Class #3 of a 3-class series

Thursday, December 5; 7:30-9:30 p.m.

led by Roshi Egyoku

The very life you are living is the fertile ground for awakening. In this series, we will explore actual situations from our lives as Koans. Forget everything you know about Koans and come ready to inquire, explore, and experiment.  ZCLA Members: $30 per class; Non-Members: $40 per class

Must Rsvp to





Rohatsu Sesshin

Friday, December 6, 6:00 p.m. (supper and registration); 7:30 p.m. (sesshin begins) to Saturday, December 14, 5:00 p.m.

Led by Roshi Egyoku

“Sesshin” means “to collect one’s heart-mind.” This sesshin commemorates the Buddha’s enlightenment, traditionally designated as having occurred on Rohatsu (“eighth day, twelfth month”) and is considered the most important sesshin of our year. Sesshin is highly recommended for deepening one’s practice. The schedule includes zazen, chanting, Face-to-Face meetings with Roshi, dharma talks, work, rest, and three vegetarian oryoki meals daily.

Deadline to register: Noon Saturday, November 23. Our housing is already filling up fast. Both full- and part-time participation welcome. Please register by filling an application online. 

for fee structure click here.

for application click here.

for schedule click here



Annual Teisho on "Polishing the Bones" by Roshi Egyoku

Sunday, December 15, 11:00 a.m.

Preceded by Gate of Sweet Nectar Service at 8:30 a.m. and Zazen from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Open to all.

After presenting two new Sensei's (Senshin Griffith and Shogen Bloodgood) to the Sangha at 10:45, Roshi will reflect on this past year at ZCLA.  Followed by Sangha lunch.



Bearing Witness Council

Thursday, December 19, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Led by Jitsujo Gauthier

Approximately every other month, we will hold a Bearing Witness Council focused on a shadow issue. This is an issue in which we are unaware of its aspects (i.e., in shadow) or something that we have difficulty facing or including. The councils will be from 7:30 to 9:00 in the Dharma Hall in lieu of the usual Dharma Talk. This is a practice of not turning away. Followed by tea and cookies. All welcome.





The Zen Center is closed for the Holidays from Saturday, December 21 through the evening of December 27, when we will be starting our Year-End Sesshin. Then we will be in silent retreat. Join us for New Year's Eve. See details below.




2019 Year-End Sesshin

Friday, Dec. 27 (eve.) - Monday, Dec. 30

Led by Sensei Faith-Mind Thoresen

During this sesshin, the Great Silence is the teacher. The schedule is spare: Just Zazen, Just Walking, Just Eating, Just Working, Just Resting - breath by breath, step by step, bite by bite, moment by moment. We will look directly at the conditioned mind and taste the freedom of forgetting the self. A wonderful opportunity to empty out and go deep as we end the year.


There will be one-Bowl style meals, not Oryoki-style.

Deadline to register: Sunday, December 15. 

A fee of $25 will be added after Sunday, December 15, for any schedule changes or dropping out (with rare emergency exceptions). Housing is limited and not guaranteed. First come, first served.

for fee structure click here.

for application click here.



New Year's Eve Events

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Please join us for some or all of these events to mark the end of 2018. An rsvp to is greatly appreciated. 

2:00-4:00 p.m. Sangha Year-End Council -- Dharma Hall

4-4:30 p.m. Sangha Members Annual Memorial Service -- Buddha Hall 

4:35 p.m. Informal Noodle supper -- Sangha House

6:00 p.m. Purification -- Zendo

6:10 p.m. Be in your seat

6:15 p.m. Atonement Ceremony

7:45 p.m. Ringing of 108 bells & Zazen Fire Ceremony

8:15 p.m. New Year’s Revolving the Sutras Service -- Buddha Hall 

9:00 Celebratory cake & cider toast for the New Year – Sangha House

9:30-45 End & Clean-up

Free for members; Non-members: Suggested donation $20




The Zen Center will be in Winter Recess From Wednesday, January 1 until Wednesday, January 8 when the office will re-open. Please note January is our Bare Bones Month and our only scheduled sitting periods are on the weekends beginning on Saturday, January 11. No Face-to-face interviews or lunches.




Founders Service

Saturday, January 11, 8:30 a.m.

Once a month we hold a special service to honor our founders, Baian Hakujun Daiosho and Taizan Maezumi Honored One, and the main ancestors of our Lineage. All welcome!




Special Day of Reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 11, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Led by Frank Genku Martinez

On this month's Day of Reflection, we will engage in an exploration and reflection on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King. Our council will also be on a theme inspired by Martin Luther King. For the complete schedule for our Day of Reflection, click here.



Evergreen Cemetery visit for Nyogen Senzaki Roshi

Sunday, January 12, 10:45 a.m.

Annual visit to the Evergreen Cemetery gravesite of Zen pioneer Nyogen Senzaki and Japanese-American Buddhist ancestors. We will also visit the mass grave site of the Unclaimed Dead.


Meet in the Sangha House driveway for carpooling at 10:45 a.m. For an excellent book of Senzaki Sensei’s writings, see Eloquent Silence, Wisdom Publications, 2008. For more information on Nyogen Senzaki, click here. 


All are welcome to join us as we honor our ancestors. We should be back by 1:00 p.m. 






MEMBERS REMINDER: Turn in your Ethical Document Commitment form if you haven't already done so.  For the 2019 ZCLA Ethics document, click here



For a pdf, of our 2019 Sesshins and Retreats, click here