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November 8, 2019—November 10, 2019

Still Mind Zendo Fall Retreat

A limited number of Hemera Contemplative Fellowships are available in support of this program. For more information, please refer here.

This weekend of silent meditation, which includes an Introduction to Zen component, consists of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, and an opportunity to meet privately with one of our teachers. There is also time for rest, exercise and outdoor walks. All of this is held together by a warm and supportive community of dedicated practitioners.

The retreat, primarily for members of Still Mind Zendo, is open to the general public, both those with prior Zen meditation experience as well as those who would like to be introduced to the Way of Zen. The Introduction to Zen component is led by one of our teachers and, while still rigorous, offers a lighter sitting schedule suitable for newcomers. Further information and a general schedule is available on the Still Mind Zendo website. The Garrison Institute offers participants six beautifully prepared meals made, whenever possible, from organic, locally grown products and the ample grounds on the Hudson River offer plenty of space for reflective walks during break periods. The Institute van picks up people traveling by train from NYC and other points at the nearby station.

This retreat is held in silence.


Roshi Janet Jiryu Abels, founder of Still Mind Zendo, has been a teacher in the Soto-Rinzai lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and the White Plum Asanga since 2000, when she became a dharma successor of her teacher, Roshi Robert Jinsen Kennedy, who, in 2015, gave her Inka and the honorific title Roshi. She is a certified Bio-Spiritual Focusing teacher and is the author of Making Zen Your Own: Giving Life to Twelve Key Golden Age Ancestors, published by Wisdom.

Roshi Gregory Hosho Abels became a dharma successor of Roshi Robert Jinsen Kennedy in 2006 in the Soto-Rinzai lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and the White Plum Asanga, receiving inka from his teacher in 20019 and the honorific title Roshi.  He has enjoyed a 50-year career as an actor, stage director and Master Teacher of Acting in New York City. He is also a poet and his collection, Never Something Else: Poems from the Eye of Zen, features poetry sparked by practice and inspired by the natural world.

The teachers are married and the parents of a grown daughter.


Sensei Marisa Seishin Cespedes joined Still Mind Zendo in 2003, becoming a student of Roshi Janet and eventually a senior practice leader and Dharma Holder. In April 2016 she received dharma transmission and was installed as a Zen teacher (Sensei). Born and raised in Mexico City, Sensei Marisa works as Bureau Chief and Correspondent for TELEVISA, Mexico, and is fluent in both English and Spanish.  

Sensei Jean Seiwa Gallagher joined Still Mind Zendo as a student of Roshi Janet in 2000, began service as a senior practice leader in 2002 and became a Dharma Holder in 20015. In November 20019 she received dharma transmission and was installed as a Zen teacher (Sensei).  She is a poet and professor at NYU where she teaches writing and literature, is married and the mother of a school aged daughter.

All four teachers are members of the White Plum Asanga and the Lay Zen Teachers Association.

For more information and a registration form, please visit www.stillmindzendo.org or call 212-414-3128.