Winter intensive

The Matter at Hand

A Three-month Spiritual Practice Intensive

January 20 – April 20, 2016

If you would like to live more deeply and engage more intimately, you are invited to join us for this three-month period of committed practice in the Soto Zen style. Newcomers are welcome.

To begin, contact Shodo for an introductory meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to support you in listening to your intentions and your life, and finding a level of commitment that fits for you., 507-384-8541. Possibilities include:


  • Study groups Wednesday evenings 6:30-8:30 pm: zazen, text study, discussion.
  • Regular meditation, on a schedule that works for your life.
  • Up to four retreats during the three months.
  • Private meetings for support and guidance of your practice.

Sponsored by Mountains and Waters Zen Community, a project of Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center,

Requested donation is $50, plus any fees for retreats and classes.

NBMC is located at 313 1/2 Division St, Northfield, MN 55057 Retreats are at Mountains and Waters Farm, 16922 Cabot Ave, Faribault, MN 55021

Text for the retreat is Dogen Zenji’s “Genjo Koan” whose title means “Right to the point or “the matter at hand.” It invites us to relax and settle into an intimate relationship with the universe: completely supported and at the same time wholeheartedly responsible.

Updates and added information will be posted at

Here are some specific details for the intensive:

The intention is to create a container that supports you to practice wholeheartedly within the context of ordinary life.  If you are interested in residential practice, from a few days to a month or more, please talk with Shodo.


Nine Wednesday evening study groups, including sitting meditation and text study. Dana (donation) for teacher and space is requested.

  • First, third, and fifth Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm – Jan 20, Feb 3, 17, March 2, 16, 30, April 6, 20.
  • Please arrive by 6:30. 6:30-7, zazen. 7-8, study. 8-8:30 zazen.
  • Drop-ins are also welcome.

Commitment to regular meditation on a schedule that works in your life

  • Sitting at home is the easiest option for a daily practice.
  • Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center (NBMC) offers sitting M-F afternoons, 5:30-6 pm, open to the public
  • Mountains and Waters Farm offers sitting M-F mornings, 6-6:50 am, followed by a short service.
  • If you know another open sitting group in our area, please let me know so I can list it.

Monthly Saturday retreats, each with a slightly different focus, followed by extended “just sitting” retreats Sunday through noon Wednesday. You can attend one or more days, or even part of a day. Registration is required. $20/Saturday; $40/day including meals; plus dana for teacher.

  • January 23: introduction to Zen practice. Please bring a lunch. 8:45-5 pm.
  • January 24-27: all-day sitting and walking, with breaks for meals.
  • February 20-24: Guest teacher Roy Dopson leads an Advaita retreat, focused on awakening. Details later.
  • March 19: 8:45-5; topic to be determined.
  • March 20-23: all-day sitting and walking, with breaks for meals.
  • April 16: 8:45-5; topic to be determined.
  • April 17-20: all-day sitting and walking, with breaks for meals.

Intentional volunteer engagement

  • Putting energy into the sangha, or somewhere else you feel gratitude.

Individual practice meetings

  • One initial meeting plus possibly a closing meeting, or more often as may be helpful to you.

NBMC is located at 313 1/2 Division St, Northfield, MN 55057

Mountains and Waters Farm is at 16922 Cabot Ave, Faribault, MN 55021. Please give advance notice and ask for directions.

NBMC is fully wheelchair accessible. Mountains and Waters Farm is partially accessible and fragrance-free.

No one is ever turned away for lack of funds.


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