Sesshin in Switzerland with Eido Shimano shut down

by Adam Fisher,, Sept

Edlibach, Switzerland -- A Zen sesshin/retreat in progress at a Jesuit center in Switzerland has been halted after the Jesuits found out it would be hosted by Eido Tai Shimano.

Below is an excerpt of a letter from the director of the LaSalle-Haus describing what happened.

The retreat of Eido Shimano was not part of our program. The European Rinzai Sangha had rented our guest house and our staff was not informed about the coming of Eido Shimano.

Being a catholic retreat centre we have very strict rules regarding misconduct.

After having been informed of Eido Shimanos coming to our center and being aware of the fact that he is a controversial figure regarding issues of misconduct, I informed him personally, that he had to leave our center which he did a day after the sesshin had started.


Tobias Karcher

A more detailed look at the misconduct to which Karcher referred can be found on the Shimano Archive (


About Sesshin Training

A sesshin (接心, or also 摂心/攝心 literally "touching the heart-mind") is a period of intensive meditation (zazen) in a Zen monastery. It is frequently mistranslated in Western Zen centers as "gathering the mind".

While the daily routine in the monastery requires the monks to meditate several hours a day, during a sesshin they devote themselves almost exclusively to zazen practice. The numerous 30- to 50-minute-long meditation periods are interleaved with short rest breaks, meals, and sometimes short periods of work (Japanese: 作務 samu) all performed with the same mindfulness; nightly sleep is kept to a minimum, at six hours or fewer. During the sesshin period, the meditation practice is occasionally interrupted by the master giving public talks (teisho) and individual direction in private meetings (which may be called dokusan, daisan, or sanzen) with a Zen Master.

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