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July 5, 2019—July 12, 2019

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care: Summer Sesshin

Sesshin means “touching the heart-mind.” It is a cornerstone of Zen practice. Sesshin is an intensive practice period offering an opportunity to experience your essential nature. At our annual summer silent retreat, we will practice zazen together under the guidance of NYZCCC teachers Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, their teacher, Sensei Dorothy Dai-En Friedman, and Guest Teacher Sensei Jose Shinzan Palma.

Each day of Sesshin includes periods of zazen and walking meditation, dharma talk, an opportunity for a one-on-one meeting (dokusan) with a teacher, as well as periods of exercise and rest. We do Sesshin as a community drawing on the vital and mutual support of others practicing together in silence. This retreat will also culminate in a Jukai ceremony, in which NYZCCC students take their Bodhisattva Vows.  

Please Note: This retreat will be held in silence.

Click here to register for this retreat.


Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. NYZCCC delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. Paley Ellison is the academic advisor for the Buddhist students in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at NYZCCC’s education partner, New York Theological Seminary. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, and he is a Visiting Professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, of the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School. Paley Ellison is a dynamic, original, and visionary leader and teacher. Koshin is the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care (Wisdom Publications, 2016). He is a Soto Zen teacher, ACPE Certified Educator, and Jungian psychotherapist.

Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. NYZCCC delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service and meditation practice. Chodo co-developed the Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program and is core faculty for the Buddhist Track in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling at New York Theological Seminary. Chodo is a dynamic, earthy, and visionary leader and teacher.  He has travelled extensively, teaching in various institutions, as well as bearing witness to the suffering of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and South Africa. His public programs have introduced thousands to the practice of mindful and compassionate care for the living and dying. 30,000 people listen to his podcasts each year. His passion lies in bereavement counseling and advocating for change in the way our healthcare institutions work with the dying.  He is a Senior Soto Zen priest and Soto Zen Teacher.

Sensei Dorothy Dai En Friedman’s spiritual journey began in the 60s when she was forced to seek help for a back injury. This event proved to be a wonderful preparation for her eventual immersion 20 years later in Buddhist Vipassana practice at Insight Meditation Center.  After she established her Vipassana practice, she then began her journey into Zen practice. Her teachers include Peter Mathiessen, Joseph Goldstein, Matt Flickstein, and Maureen Stuart Roshi.  Dai-en is now a Sensei at Ocean Zendo, located on Eastern Long Island.  She is honored to be invited teach with Koshin and Chodo in the wonderful work at NYZCCC, for the benefit of all beings, as we live and die.


Sensei Jose Shinzan Palma was born in Veracruz, Mexico. He is a Zen priest and Dharma Successor of Roshi Joan Halifax. He has been practicing Zen since 1996. Shinzanlived in the Toronto Zen Buddhist Temple for 4 years. He was ordained in 2004 as a Zen Buddhist Priest by Ven. Samu Sunim.  In 2006, he became a resident and student of Roshi Joan Halifax. He lived and trained for over 8 years at Upaya. He received the Dharma transmission on Jan 2015 from Roshi Joan Halifax. 

Shinzan co-teaches a teenagers retreat for the Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, and weekends retreats in several parts of the country. Currently, he lives in San Diego and teaches at the Carlsbad Zen Community and Sweetwater Zen Center. His vision is to teach youth and create a zen Hispanic community in the USA and Mexico.

Click here to register for this retreat.