Swiss Retreat 2017

Date(s): September 20, 2017 12:00 AM – September 24, 2017 12:00 AM
Cost: CHF 550.-
Faculty: Flint Sparks
Pay Online: Contact Sophie Cattier at for registration

To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To
forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things,
your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of
realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

The Genjokoan holds a special place within traditional Zen literature. It is the first chapter in Dogen Zenji’s master work, Shobogenzo, written between 1231 and 1253, and is one of the most studied teachings in all of Zen. Although Genjokoan leads this revered volume, it was written as a personal letter given to Mitsuhide Yo, one of Dogen’s lay student in Kyushu in 1233. As such, Genjokoan deals with the fundamental koan of everyday practice, and emphasizes the integration of zazen with daily life.

In this retreat we will become intimate with this inspiring and challenging document by reflecting on commentaries by several contemporary teachers and engaging in the practices encouraged by Dogen. The word genjo means to fully or completely manifest, or to express or share. And in this context koan does not refer to the old teaching stories of Zen, but instead it points us the very heart of practice. Our challenge, whether sitting in zazen or getting up and engaging in ordinary life, is to fully manifest, to express, or share what is essential within the actual situation in front of us. We are to do this with ourselves, together in sangha, and for our world as a whole. This teaching about learning to express what is most essential is very rich.