Five-Day Retreat

Join Us for a Five-Day Summer Retreat

Tuesday, July 29, 7:00pm – Sunday, August 3, Noon


Cultivating our Innate Clarity — So often in our daily life we tend to get caught up in the myriad ways our attention and focus are drawn in different directions. Thus, we frequently lose touch with our inherent capacity to meet the events of life with clarity and understanding. Yet, there is a deeper intelligence within all of us which leads us to action arising out of wisdom and compassion. It is not a great mystery, nor is it impossible for us to experience, for it is at the core of every one of us. To touch it, we just need to turn our attention to being awake and present in the moment to moment unfolding of our experiences. However, this is not easy for us to do in the midst of our daily life. So several times a year, we set aside periods of time for concentrated practice lasting from two to five days. Join us in the upcoming five day sesshin (retreat) and set a bit of time aside to quiet and unify the mind/body and experience a deeper level of being present.

To register, go to:  Retreat Application,  Application deadline:  July 20.

More Information: Guidelines and FAQs

This five-day Zen Mindfulness Meditation retreat is led by Diane Eshin Rizzetto, Guiding Teacher at the Bay Zen Center and author of Waking Up to What You Do. It is open to people of any meditation background. We ask that participants attend for the full time.  People traveling from a distance may stay at the Zen center at no additional cost.

The fee for the retreat is sliding scale: Members: $200 – 600, Non-Members: $275 – $775.  Space is limited so apply early.

These retreat dates don’t work for you? Please see our other retreat dates.

A Few General Guidelines for Zen Retreat

To contact the Retreat Director, Brent Beavers:

Everyone agrees to attend all activities listed on the schedule. If something comes up during the retreat that makes this not possible, participants should speak with the Retreat Director.

Once retreat begins we are asked to maintain as much silence as possible, only speaking when needed and keeping it brief.

We are asked to not read or write anything except for things that specifically relate to the needs of the retreat.

We ask that you do not bring lap-tops or use your phones.

Questions Often Asked About a Zen Retreat

Must I have Zen meditation experience?

Although it is helpful to have some experience with sitting meditation, it need not be within the Zen tradition. Most people find that if they can meditate at home for 30 minutes, they are able to do the extended sitting days in a retreat.

Can I sit in a chair, on a sitting bench or lie down if needed?

Yes. Our teacher, herself, most often sits in a chair. Sometimes people will meditate in a reclining position as well. So as not to disturb others, we ask that people not make these changes, for example moving from a bench to a chair, in the middle of a sitting period (usually last about 35 minutes).  However, it is perfectly fine to adjust position, moving the legs etc, during a sitting period.

We provide sitting cushions, chairs and sitting benches. If you have your own cushion or sitting bench, you may also bring it to use.

Can I bring my own food?

We provide simple vegetarian food served as a buffet. We ask that everyone share in its offering so please do not bring your own food. If  you have specific food allergies, please indicate them on your application and a substitute will be provided.

Where will I sleep?

If you live within a short driving distance from the Zen center, you may choose to sleep at home. Those coming from a distance or who prefer not to go home at night, may sleep at the center. If you are driving, you will need to bring your own sleeping mat (to be placed on a rug covered floor), sleeping bag, pillow and whatever else you need. If you are not driving, we will provide a futon and pillow, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag.

If you need a futon or pillow, let the Retreat Director know once you arrive.

What else should I bring beside bedding?

Towel, personal items, work clothing for work period. Note: Please do not bring lap-tops. We will ask everyone to turn off all electronic devices and to store phones with their belongings.

What happens if I feel ill during meditation or I feel like I cannot keep the schedule?

This is no problem. Just speak with the Retreat Director.

How will I be reached from outside in case of emergency.

We check the Zen center phone messages 4-5 times a day. Please give the following phone number for emergencies: 510-596-3087

Retreat Schedule

5 Day Schedule


5:30pm  Registration & orientation for newcomers

6:00  Registration for all others

7:10  Sitting and Walking Meditation

8:30  Instruction, if necessary

9:15  Lights Out

All other days (except last day, which ends at noon)

5:30am  Wake-Up

6:15  Sitting and Walking Meditation

7:50  Breakfast and Rest

9:00  Work Period

10:45  Rest

11:15  Sitting and Walking Meditation, Dharma talk by teacher, Bowing Practice

1:40pm  Lunch and Rest

3:30  Sitting and Walking Meditation

5:45  Snack and Rest

7:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation

9:15  Lights Out


2 Day Schedules

For a Saturday start see below.
(For a Friday start scroll down. )


6:40am  Arrive at Zen Center

7:00  Sitting and Walking Meditation

8:30  Breakfast and Rest

9:10  Work Period

10:30 Rest

11:00  Sitting and Walking Meditation, Dharma talk by teacher

1:30pm  Lunch and Rest

2:45 Sitting and Walking Meditation

4:50 Reading, Snack, Rest

6:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation

7:30 Retire for evening


7:00am  Sitting and Walking Meditation

8:30  Breakfast and Rest

9:10  Work Period

10:30  Rest

11:00  Sitting and Walking Meditation, Dharma talk by teacher

1:30  Lunch and Rest

2:45  Sitting and Walking Meditation

5:00  END

For a Friday start:


6:00pm Arrive at Zen Center

6:30 Sitting and Walking Meditation

7:50  Retire for the evening


7:00am Sitting and Walking Mediation

8:30 Breakfast and Rest

9:10 Work Period

10:30 Rest

11:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation, Dharma talk

1:30 pm Lunch and Rest

2:45 Sitting and Walking Meditation

4:50 Reading, Snack, Rest

6:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation

7:35 Retire for evening


7:00am Sitting and Walking Meditation

8:30 Breakfast and Rest

9:10 Work Period

10:10 Rest

10:30 Sitting and Walking Meditation

12:30pm END