Back to All Events

Come to Your Senses: A day of Zen and haiku practice

  • Blue Mountain Zendo 2952 Berg Ave. Mission, BC Canada (map)
Old pond
a frog jumps in—
sound of water
— Basho

This is the most famous Japanese haiku. Any grade school child can recite it. And it truly is a quintessential example of the famous short poetic form. What defines a haiku? A syllable pattern of 5-7-5? A seasonal reference? A moment of vivid present experience? To quote Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, we might say, “not always so.”

Please join Myoshin Kate McCandless and guest teacher Michael Dylan Welch for a day of Zen meditation and haiku in the forest and gardens of Blue Mountain Zendo. We will explore the common ground of Zen and haiku practice through attentive presence, sensory awareness, and direct experience of the natural world.

The retreat will include indoor and outdoor sitting and walking meditation, talks by the teachers on the basic principles of haiku poetry and their resonance with Zen, haiku writing practice, and discussion and sharing of our work.

Everyone welcome, whether you are new or experienced, with Zen or haiku!

A light vegetarian lunch will be provided.

Zen cushions, benches and chairs will be available for mediation.

Michael D. Welch.jpg

Michael Dylan Welch will be in Vancouver for haiku events at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, and we are fortunate to have him join us for this retreat. He has been investigating haiku and related poetry since 1976. He founded his press, Press Here, in 1989, and co-founded Haiku North America in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996. He founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000, the Seabeck Haiku Getaway in 2008, and National Haiku Writing Month in 2010. Michael was keynote speaker for the 2013 Haiku International Association convention in Tokyo. He has published his poetry, essays, and reviews in hundreds of journals and anthologies in more than twenty languages, and has also published numerous books. Michael lives in Sammamish, Washington. Please see his website is for a more detailed bio, and an extensive selection of his work.

Myoshin Kate McCandless is co-guiding teacher of Mountain Rain Zen Community. She wrote her first haiku in junior high school, and has loved the form ever since. She has published poetry in several journals, and has translated A White Tea Bowl: One Hundred Haiku for One Hundred Years of Life, by Mitsu Suzuki.


  • Retreat fee: $40

  • Reduced fees are available to those on a limited income. Please complete the Day Retreat Reduced Fee Request form (click the link to access the form).

Dana (Donations to the teachers)

  • Retreat fees cover expenses and support Mountain Rain Zen.. There will be an opportunity to give a donation/dana to the teachers at the retreat.


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