Meditation functions as the core practice and foundational teaching of the Zen Buddhist tradition. This silent retreat will be an opportunity for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and interested individuals to practice meditation intensely in a retreat framed in the holding environment provided by the Soto Zen Buddhist meditation tradition.

Experience with Zen meditation practice is not necessary. People from all meditative backgrounds – experienced or with little or no experience- are welcome.

This retreat, specially tailored to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and mental health professionals, within the context and structure of the traditional and formal Soto Zen silent retreat format, will include presentations and discussions on the interrelation between Buddhism, mental health and psychoanalysis along with opportunities for dokusan (private one-to-one discussions with the teacher).

Seiso Paul Cooper, Sensei will offer presentations to frame and facilitate the interrelation and integration of Buddhism and psychoanalysis, Mark Finn will moderate follow-up discussions. Karen Morris will facilitate a Social Dreaming Matrix each morning

Periods of sitting and walking meditation are scheduled throughout the retreat and opportunities for private interviews will be part of the schedule.

The British psychoanalyst, Wilfred Bion (1897-1979) and the Soto Zen master, Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), were both highly creative and brilliant writers and thinkers whose works share many areas of overlap. They both exerted a radical impact on their respective disciplines. However, despite the highly regarded philosophical and theoretical complexity of their teachings, they both shared the agenda of strengthening and deepening experiential realizational practice with an insistent emphasis on the present moment. Practice serves as the core of their orientations. The direct experience of practice animates their teachings and brings them to fruition for both Zen practitioners and psychotherapists in the Twenty-first Century. Both are directly applicable to religious realization and effective clinical work from the realizational perspective.

We invite you to participate in an exploration of these great thinkers deeply centered and nurtured in the shared intimacy of a practice-oriented silent retreat environment grounded in extensive meditation practice, which, in the spirit of Dogen and Bion, will function as the nodal point of the retreat.