Retreat Schedule

Retreats and Events

For a list of Classes and other Gatherings, please go to the Classes and Gatherings Page

Follow this link for Information on Retreat Practice at Springs Mountain Sangha

For Retreat Announcements, follow this link to “Retreat News”

2018 Practice Period: January 8 – February 18
Jan 8 – Feb 16 all-day

Practice Period 2018 Begins!

Tomorrow evening we will formally begin our Practice Period, which will extend until February 18.  After our period of meditation and precepts recitation, we’ll have tea and cookies and time for discussion about practice, practice period, the doing and the non-doing of it.

What’s a practice period?  Fundamentally, it’s a period of time during which you are invited to indulge your desire to devote more than usual of your time and attention to your Zen practice.

In a very real way, this can be a time to do something useless, to drop the weight of utilitarian concerns and allow yourself to be deeply curious about….what you are deeply curious about.

Below you’ll find information about some offerings, in addition to the regular schedule of meditations, talks and discussion, that will be available to you to support your Zen practice.   A commitment form will be provided for your use in thinking about what time and energy you wish to devote to this process at the Community Night tomorrow; or, for you to download here  You’ll be creating your own practice period, in company of your sangha-mates.  This can include a deepening of sangha relationships and support, as well as solo practices .

Diamond Sutra Study Series
with Sarah Bender

January 14, 21, 28;  February 4, 11, 25
Sundays, 3 to 5 PM  at Creek Bend Zendo

Text:  The Diamond Sutra , translated by Red Pine
Contact: Sarah Bender
Suggested dana: $60 for the series



Introduction to Zen Practice
with Sarah Bender and assisting members

               January 25,  February 1, 8, 15, 22

Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 PM  at Shove Chapel

Suggested dana: $50 for the series (CC students free)



SMS Integrative Retreat

This is a chance to enter into meditation and inquiry, going in and out of silence and conversation with others, while we hang out with a particular story, koan or text.

This one may be centered around the Ox Herding Pictures, but stay tuned…still a bit in flux.

Friday evening, February 16 to Sunday afternoon,  February 18, 2018,
with Sarah Bender, Roshi

 Franciscan Retreat Center (FRC), Colorado Springs

$175 Full-time only, non-residential scholarships available

Registrar:  Robert King @
registration deadline February 1, 2018 – firm!  


Song in Praise of Tending an Ox:  A Weekend with the Oxherding Pictures @ Franciscan Retreat Center
Feb 16 – Feb 18 all-day

Song in Praise of Tending an Ox:  A Weekend with the Oxherding Pictures

with Sarah Bender, Roshi

In a flash we may see our true nature, which is empty nature, and be left changed forever; our world, changed forever.  And at the same time, throughout a life we slowly learn to unlearn the habits of exile, fearing less and less the tangles that come with being human, trusting more and more the power of intimacy with each thing that appears.

So  we speak of the seeming paradox within Zen practice:  That there is nothing to gain, nowhere to go…..and that we can train for a lifetime.  What are we training? What can we learn that will help us meet the challenges of today?

One can see pretty quickly that no single model of awakening will do. At the same time, images can provide powerful encouragement for us as we walk the Way, alone and together. The Ox Herding Pictures have for a very long time served this way.  So in our weekend integrative retreat, we’ll spend time with these images, and the words of encouragement that have been written to accompany them.  We’ll let them haunt us a bit, we’ll hold them up as mirrors in silence and in conversation.

We”ll be spending some time in meditation, some in conversation; and there will be time for a bit of a wander on your own.
No previous study is needed for this.   Everyone is welcome, and materials will be provided.

Franciscan Retreat Center (FRC), Colorado Springs
February 16-18, 2018

Days and Time:  Friday Evening 7-9:00 PM
Saturday 9-5:00
Sunday 9-2:30
$175 Full-time only, non-residential scholarships available

Registrar:  Robert King @
registration deadline February 1, 2018 – firm!  

2018 Spring Meditation retreat at the Abbey @ The Abby, Canon City, CO
Apr 11 – Apr 15 all-day

Details TBD

Maha-Sangha Retreat: Oakland, CA @ Oakland, CA
Jun 8 – Jun 13 all-day

Details TBD

2018 Fall Retreat @ The Abby, Canon City, CO
Oct 22 – Oct 28 all-day

Details TBD

2018 December Bodhi Day Retreat @ TBD
Dec 7 – Dec 8 all-day

Details TBD



  • June 19-25
    “Maha-Sangha” Retreat: Retreat including teachers and Sangha members all Open Source Sanghas (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California)  See the announcement (select the link)