We gather in Autumn and inspiration comes.

Recently I dreamed I should learn the language of crows. It was a shamanic moment in which the world appeared inside me as well as outside me.

There are stories about going down into the underworld to find the way. There is a story of a sage who drew a crane on a wall and it came to life.

The old Zen path was built on stories and meditation. They lead us through confusion and they lead us through joy and give us a practice that sustains us all our lives.

Meditation rests on a great spaciousness a kind of light beneath all things and in all things, something we can rely on, beyond birth and death. Bliss, dreams, magic, synchronicity, animals taking notice of us, are touches of that original light made visible. Surprising things appear when we turn our attention toward the practices of moving in this realm.

Space is limited for these intimate retreats; we recommend early registration.

Join us at Bolinas this November.

– John Tarrant



This event is now on waitlist. To register, please contact the registrar.



  • Dates: November 29-December 2, 2018
  • Times: Thursday eve till Sunday noon
  • Location: Commonweal Center, Bolinas, CA
  • Cost: See registration page
  • Registrar: For questions about the event please contact the registar, Sacha Kawaichi, at sachakawaichi@gmail.com
  • Bring: a notebook.
  • Also: if you want to paint or draw or play an instrument, you can bring your gear.


About Open Mind Retreats

Pacific Zen Institute’s Open Mind retreats come out of our impulse to make a Zen meditation retreat that is native to American culture. When we take away the barriers to understanding, things just naturally shine.

This is a residential retreat held in a beautiful place on the ocean with a simple feel, and wonderful food. There will be sitting together, koans, teaching, walking on the beach, poetry, conversation, writing and time to find out what our lives might be like without our usual stories. We will do exercises that help our attention to deepen. We will make discoveries and our lives will open.

This is a retreat that people find has a powerful affect on their lives and their understanding, both of the practice of the inner life and of the world of work and personal interaction. It has the deep strength of an intensive meditation retreat inside a form that works for people with all different levels of meditation experience. It has a flexible schedule that makes it work well for those who would like to bring a partner or a friend. No particular background in spiritual practice is required.

By registering for this event you agree to our Cancellation Policy.

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