Retreats (Sesshin)

A sesshin (literally, “to gather the mind”) is a time when formal Zen practice is the primary focus of what we do. Sometimes these are informally called “retreats,” but in actuality they involve going forward into the heart of our lives.


Participation in sesshin is open to community members and others who have had some experience with Buddhist practice and meditation. Each sesshin offers an extended opportunity to settle the mind and body and open to the deep wisdom of human life. These are excellent opportunities to strengthen and deepen the practice of presence, including benefiting from the support of others.

Sesshins at Compassionate Ocean


       Fall 2021

  • Rohatsu—Wednesday, Dec. 1–Wednesday, Dec. 8 (on Zoom)

       Winter 2022

  • TBD

Led by Michael & Joen O'Neal

Rohatsu Sesshin
The December Rohatsu (“eighth day”) sesshin commemorates and reenacts the seven days of meditation culminating in the enlightenment of the Buddha, traditionally celebrated on Dec. 8. Rohatsu sesshins take place at Zen centers throughout the world at this time.

Our Rohatsu sesshin will take place from Dec. 1—Dec. 8 on Zoom by donation. The schedule has been developed to support people participating from home on Zoom. 


Participants are requested to pre-register and indicate the dates and times they plan to attend. (See registration form below.) The Zoom meeting information will then be sent to you.

To make a donation for Rohatsu, please enter your desired amount in the Retreats field under the Program Fees section of the online form.


Daily Schedule

Begins Wednesday, Dec. 1, 7:30 P.M.
Ends Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8:00 A.M.

7:00–8:00 A.M.   Sitting and Morning Service

11:00–12:00 P.M. Sitting and Noon Service*

5:00–6:00 P.M.   Sitting and Evening Service

7:30–9:00 P.M.   Sitting, Walking, Sitting

*The regular 9:00–11:15 Sunday morning sitting and Dharma talk will replace the 11:00 sitting period on Sunday, December 5.

Rohatsu: Buddha's Enlightenment Sesshin
Sign up in advance to participate in Rohatsu via Zoom.
Dec 01, 7:30 PM – Dec 08, 8:00 AM
This event will take place entirely on Zoom

Mindfulness One-Day Retreat 

This retreat is open to all current participants in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. It is also open to graduates of past Total Dynamic Living courses on a donation basis. People not enrolled in a current course should call the Center in advance to reserve a space. 

Saturday, Nov. 6, 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Registration Information

Enrollment for retreats is limited, and early registration is encouraged. 

Register online. The retreats are listed in the Retreats Fees section of the online form.