Beginners' retreat

This summer, people who are interested in experiencing the Zen way of life for a few days (from 14 to 18 July) will have the opportunity to do so at Zengården from 14 to 18 July. No previous experience is needed. The retreat will be in English and will be led by Roshi Sante Poromaa, a Zen teacher who has over 30 years' experience of Zen. Please email us for more details or an application form. (Members can also apply online.)


August sesshin

August 7-day sesshin is usually the most popular sesshin, so the closing date is 31 May, two months before the sesshin start date of 29 July. It is important to get your application in before the closing date if you want to be sure that it will be considered.


September sesshin

Applications are being accepted for the September 4-day sesshin, which begins on 13 September and will be led by Sante Roshi. Most sesshins are full these days, so it is important to apply by the deadline of 29 August if you want your application to be considered.


October Sesshin

Applications are being accepted for this 7-day sesshin, which runs from 14 to 21 October, led by Sante Roshi. Most sesshins are full these days, so it is important to apply by the deadline of 14 September if you want your application to be considered.


Welcome! Zengården is a Zen Buddhist retreat centre and full-time Zen training temple located in rural Sweden two hours west of Stockholm. Beginners and experienced practitioners alike can come here to learn and practise zazen (Zen meditation), participate in retreats and experience Zen training under the guidance of fully qualified Zen teachers. Because people from all over the world come here, instruction is given in English.

What is Zen?

The word Zen comes from the Sanskrit word "dhyana" which means concentration and absorption. In other words, meditation. The central aspect of Zen practice is sitting meditation, or “zazen”. In zazen, we gradually train our minds to be more attentive and present. The mind also learns to function in a new way, to let go of old habits, ideas and views about the world, and to be fully present, letting everything be born again in each moment.

Through the practice of zazen, we can break through our illusions and see reality as it truly is, beyond all concepts.

In Zen we say that everything is practice and that practice can be done in any situation, that you should not be stuck in, or cling to, the notion of zazen being the only way to practise. On the other hand, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that a strong sitting practice is not needed in Zen. But it is in our daily life that we bring the practice to fruition, through attending to each moment and being aware of our responsibility for the world and its inhabitants.

The relationship between the teacher and the student is an essential element of Zen practice. The teacher guides students along the path using both one-on-one instruction (in Japanese, dokusan) and lectures given to the student group (in Japanese, teisho).

Zen has always been influenced by, and adapted to, the culture and the circumstances of each new country in which it has appeared. Modern western Zen for example, has witnessed women coming to play a much more prominent role both as students and teachers than was possible in ancient Asian cultures. But the Zen that is practised here in the west also has deep roots in the Chinese and Japanese Zen traditions, and the essence of Zen is beyond both time and culture.

Zengården   |   e-mail: enquiries@zentraining.org   |   phone: +46 (0) 76 1495374, +46 (0) 72 2257631