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Mountains and Rivers Zen Retreat

July 13 - July 16

Mountains and Rivers Zen Retreat
July 13 – 16, Yadkin County, North Carolina (near Winston Salem)

Mountains belong to those who love them – Dōgen

Joshin Byrnes and Jissan Nicolle will facilitate an outdoor-focused Zen retreat to explore our oneness with mountains and rivers in the spirit of the Mountains and Rivers Sutra by Eihei Dōgen. In an intimate community, we will practice zazen, spend time on Pilot Mountain, on the river (Yadkin River paddle trip), and at an organic farm. Structured time will include zazen, all meals, contemplative walking, and Dharma discussion. A reader will be provided. There will be some unstructured free time to explore on your own.

Meals: vegan with vegetarian options. Dinner 7/13 – breakfast 7/16

Housing: at a parsonage that has been donated for our use

Note: the retreat is now fully booked (waiting list only). Please register here for the waiting list.

This event is offered freely, but we welcome donations to offer gratitude to the parsonage hosts, paddle trip support, and other helpers.  $100 is suggested, but any amount is welcome. To donate go HERE, and indicate “Mountains and Rivers Retreat”.

Participants should be able to tolerate heat, walk 2-3 miles on easy & moderate trails and paddle a canoe or kayak.

Brian Joshin Byrnes is a Zen priest and teacher in the White Plum Lineage and Zen Peacemakers, is the founder of the Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community in Vermont. His practice, which is informed by his long experience working in social nonprofits, specifically in HIV/AIDS and community-based philanthropy, is centered around social action, with a focus on economically marginalized communities.

Jissan Michelle Nicolle, PhD, BCC is a professional chaplain, lay minister and novice Zen priest. She graduated from the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy program in 2015 and was ordained as a lay minister by Roshi Joan Halifax in 2016. Jissan is employed as a spiritual care provider at the Atrium Health Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In 2019, Jissan happily made the commitment to deepen her practice and study of the Dharma as a novice priest with Sensei Joshin Byrnes of Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community.

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