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                                                                        Rohatsu Sesshin

                                        December 8th - 10th

                                                     Murray Grove Retreat Center, Lanoka Harbor NJ

Rohatsu Sesshin is an annual event traditionally held in Zen Monasteries and Practice Centers throughout the world around the 8th of December to mark the enlightenment of the historical Buddha. It is a powerful event, a gathering of Monks, Teachers, Students, Community and Dharma Friends who are dedicated to awakening and realizing The Way of Loving-Kindness, Compassion and Wisdom. This Sesshin (retreat) is in silence with periods of sitting and walking meditation, chanting, teachings, and free time for reflection.  Sesshin provides a powerful, peaceful, and inspirational environment supporting the unification of body, mind, and community. 

Rohatsu Sesshin begins Friday morning, December 8th and continues through Sunday afternoon, December 10th. In order to experience the magic of this sesshin, the monks strongly encourage participation in the full sesshin.  However, if this is not possible, we recommend participation to the maximum extent practical. 


This year’s Rohatsu Sesshin will be held at Murray Grove Retreat Center, Lanoka Harbor, Lacey Township, NJ. The

 retreat center is conveniently accessed via the Garden State Parkway or Route 9 

431 US Highway 9 at Church Lane
Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734-0246


The Murray Grove Retreat Center has two guest houses that can accommodate up to 40 people in European hostel-style rooms with mostly twin beds.  A limited number of rooms have bunk beds accommodating three people.  There are two houses for sleeping, each has eleven bedrooms for two (22 comfortable twin beds) and large shared bathrooms.  


The food during Sesshin is always simple and meant as 'food for the soul' and to strengthen one's practice. All meals will be vegetarian/vegan and prepared on site by the Tenzo (cook) If you have any food allergies please let us know. 


The cost for this sesshin consists of a $50 per day program fee which includes all meals and $96 per night for lodging. For example, if you were to attend the entire sesshin with two nights lodging the cost would be $342. Two day participation with no lodging would cost $100.  Since the rooms have two beds or more, the lodging cost can be reduced by sharing.  The monks understand that sesshin fees can be prohibitive for some people. If finances are a hardship, please contact sensei Emyo at to discuss payment options. 


To register for the Sesshin, contact Betsy Gessho Nieves at  and let her know when you will be attending, including lodging details. Gessho will then get back to you with the cost. At that point payment can easily be made via Zeffy at this link- 

The Deadline for registration is December 6th.



7pm to 9pm Rohatsu Sesshin Orientation

at our Zendo, Jizo-an Zen Community:

1930 Marlton Pike E.

Executive Mews, Suite L-63

Cherry Hill, NJ  08003



There is an option to stay Thursday evening as well,

please let us know if your interested when registering.

(Beginning at 6pm)


8:00 am – Check-in for lodging

9:00 am – 9:30 Sesshin Orientation (Emyo)

9:30 am – 12:00 Zazen & Morning Sutras

12:00 pm – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 Samu (work practice)

1:30 – 3:00 Zazen

3:00 – 3:30 Teaching (Genjo)

3:30 – 4:30 Zazen

4:30 – 5:00 Free time for reflection

5:00 – 6:00 Dinner

6:30 – 8:30 Zazen

8:30 pm Closing Vows



6:00 am – 7:00 am  Zazen & Morning Sutras

7:00-8:00 - Breakfast

8:00 am -12:00 Zazen

12:00 pm – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 Samu (work practice)

1:30 – 3:00 Zazen

3:00 – 3:30 Teaching (Donen)

3:30 – 4:30 Zazen

4:30 – 5:00 Free time for reflection

5:00 – 6:00 Dinner

6:30 – 8:30 Zazen

8:30 pm Closing Vows



6:00 am – 7:00am Zazen & Morning Sutras

7:00- 8:00 - Breakfast

8:00- 8:30 - cleaning rooms for departure

8:30 – 12:00 Zazen & Closing Vows

12:00 pm – 1:00 Lunch & Sharing

Closing Comments (Emyo)

The Order of The Great Lights

The Zen Society, Jizo-an Zen Community

Our Mission...

We are a diverse community of Lay Contemplative Zen Monks, founded in 1985 by our brother, the Abbot Seijaku Roshi. Inspired by a monastic tradition reaching back centuries, and supported by men and women from all walks of life, we are shaped by the teachings of the Buddhadharma, the Mystical Torah, the Rule of Saint Benedict, and the Gospels.


We hope to live the teachings of Loving-kindness, Compassion, and Benevolent Service for all beings together.  Seeking to help create an "Enlightened Society," we hope that we will, in some measure, foster the healing and reconciliation of the whole human family.

We offer both traditional and innovative ways to nurture and engage Authentic Spirituality through our public programs and retreats. All are welcome to visit, and to join us in our celebrations of common prayer, meditation, and learning.

Our Zendo or Meditation Hall  affords an atmosphere in which quiet reflection and prayer are accessible to all.


Whether attending in-person or online, a Wednesday Evening Zen Studies Class, a seminar, Liturgy Service, or a full-day or half-day retreat, you will have the opportunity to experience a welcoming and contemplative environment — a dynamic, integrated spiritual community and a place to encounter your own inner silence, wisdom, and compassion.

"Community is the Spirit, the Guiding Light, whereby people come together to fulfill a purpose, to help others fulfill their purpose, and to take care of one another."


 Our Life Values (FAQ)                Photo Gallery of The Monks

Jizo-an Zen Community offers a variety of in-person and online programs to inspire, serve, and educate the public about the Dharma and the meaning of Living Spiritually in the World — Living a Zen-Inspired Life.  We offer both free programs, as well as programs accessible by donation. 

Please note that if you are planning on attending any program in person, you can pay the program registration fee in person at the door.  Registration online is only required if you will be attending the program online via Zoom.  In-person registration can be paid by cash or check, made out to The Zen Society.


What Bonds The Monks of Pine Wind?
by Joe Lamberti, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
O Rohatsu Seshin 2019-Sharp.jpg


Jizo-an Zen Community

1930 Marlton Pike E.

Executive Mews, Suite L-63

Cherry Hill, NJ  08003


T. 856.248-0776



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