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Dogen's Great Enlightenment: a weekend retreat with Shinmon Michael Newton


Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, wrote a short text called Daigo, or Great Awakening.  Dogen maintains that daigo is not one powerful opening experience that will end all troubles, but rather the expression of our basic nature which is shared by all things, by “earth, water, fire, air, and emptiness.” What is realization or awakening, and what is delusion?  Who or what awakens? We will take up these questions during the retreat and explore how Dogen’s understanding can open our practice and allow it to permeate every aspect of our lives. arma talks each day, small and large group discussion, and reflective writing.

This retreat is an opportunity to focus on a Dogen text intensively, in community, and to apply his words to our zazen practice and everyday lives.

It will include periods of zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation), two dharma talks each day, small and large group discussion, and reflective writing or art. 

Everyone welcome, whether you are new to Zen practice or experienced.

About the Teacher: Shinmon Michael Newton is a Zen Buddhist priest and resident teacher of Mountain Rain Zen Community. He first encountered Dogen’s teachings when practicing with Shohaku Okumura Roshi in Kyoto, Japan in the mid-1980s, and has continued to find them an inexhaustible resource and inspiration

Schedule:  Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


  • Full-time attendance: $80
  • Half-time attendance: $40
  • For those on a limited income, reduced fees are available. Please complete the Weekend Retreat Reduced Fee Request form (click the link to access the form). No one will turned away for lack of funds. 

Teacher Dana

Retreat fees only cover expenses. There will be an opportunity to give a donation/dana to the teacher at the retreat. 


If you have questions or concerns, please contact the registrar at


2018 Dogen Weekend Retreat
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