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A Spiritual Retreat

At Zen-Temple La Gendronnière ( France )

Monday 19 February 2018, by Association Zen Internationale

Langues :

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Practitioners can:

- discover or deepen the practice of zazen, zen meditation (morning and evening)
- live a monastic life, following a precise schedule (see below)
- receive teachings from various zen teachers from the International Zen Association
- contribute to the daily samu, selfless activities for the community (cooking, gardening, cleaning...)
- take part in Zen Buddhist rituals, such as morning ceremonies, oryoki (eating in silence, in bowls) or chosan (questions and answers with the teacher).

The Gendronnière: a meeting place for the sanghas

Approximately once a month, a zen teacher from the International Zen Association leads a sesshin (intensive meditation retreat). For those who are staying long-term, it’s an opportunity to meet various teachers and hear different perspectives on the Way of Zen.

The Gendronnière: an international temple

French is the most commonly used language, but many nationalities are represented, giving rise to enriching intercultural exchanges. We do our best to always translate what is said in the languages of those present.

Learning to live together

In Zen tradition, it’s important to learn to live together, overcoming our limits and preconceived ideas. That can happen when we all strive to evolve together.

A typical day (tentative schedule; may vary, in exceptional circumstances)

6:00 am wake-up
6:30 - 7:05 am zazen
7:05 - 7:15 am kinhin
7:15 - 7:40 am zazen, kaijo (traditional sounds)
7:45 - 8:15 am ceremony
8:20 am   procession
8:30 am genmai (breakfast) + coffee
9:45 am - 12:30 pm samu (collective or individual)
1:00 pm meal taken in silence
2:45 - 5:00 pm samu, teachings, initiations
6:00 pm zazen + kaijo
7:30 pm  informal meal
9:30 pm lights out or individual study time


Monthly rate: 300 euros (sesshin included)
+ annual AZI membership: 45/35 euros

View online : Le site de l’Association Zen Internationale


Financial accommodations
If you don’t have a regular source of income (retirement benefits, family support, etc.) and still want to stay long-term, it’s possible to live at the Gendronnière while working part-time (1-2 days per week) outside of the monastery.
You can also leave for a few weeks for contractual work.

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