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Windhorse Sittings and Programs: June 2019

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening,that is translated through you into action;   Weekly Programs and Formal Sittings After a wonderful weekend with two very different events, we’re gearing up now for the Summer Solstice Sesshin (June 15-22). If anyone has time to help out with those preparations, we’d gratefully…

Two New Articles on Ethical Practice:

An ethical life is both the seed and fruit of the living Dharma. So when teachers and other long-time practitioners behave in unethical ways, it cuts painfully to the heart of our faith and understanding. How can we reconcile the idea, and the ideal, that practice leads only to wisdom and compassion, with the well-documented…

CREATIVITY and the SPIRITUAL PATH with Stephen Nachmanovitch

In early May 2019, Windhorse, Malaprop’s, and Creative Awakening Now are coming together to present programs featuring guest artist Stephen Nachmanovitch. Well-known improvisational musician and writer, Stephen is making his very first appearance in Asheville.  Please join us for these events highlighting the dynamic interplay of Zen creativity, improvisation and the spiritual path. „Improvisation, it…

March Spring Equinox Sesshin (Mar 16-23)

Applications due by Monday, Feb. 25 Registration here >> Sesshin is a period of intensified Zen training, usually lasting from 4-7 days. The roots of this practice trace back to the time of the Buddha in India, when monks gathered during the rainy season for several months of secluded meditation. The primary inspiration for sesshin,…

New Year’s Prayer

May all beings, as numberless as the stars, who are suffering pain of body and mind, obtain, through the merit of our practice, true peace and fulfillment. May the earth be fertile and the seasons in order, and may all live in harmony with nature. May great spreading trees again shade our continents, and may…

Reflections on the Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is one of the biggest events in the great cycling dance of sun and earth, marking the time when the northern hemisphere leans farthest away from the sun, and the sun makes its lowest and shortest arc across the sky. Officially this year the last of the four ‘power points’ of the…

The Buddha’s Enlightenment

December Eighth is the day when so many people across the globe celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment. To put you in the spirit of this extraordinary holiday, we’re attaching a copy of the story of this great event. Although this version, originally written by our dear friend and dharma brother, Rafe Martin, has been altered a bit…

Thanksgiving Greetings & Reflections by Sunya Kjolhede

“The Dharma Wheel turns from the beginning. There is neither surplus nor lack. The whole universe is moistened with nectar, and the truth is ready to harvest.” — Eihei Dogen At this time of year, I always think of our teacher. Philip Kapleau loved Thanksgiving! He was certainly aware of the dark shadows playing at…

Ceremony of Gratitude

Ceremony of Gratitude Each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we host a Ceremony of Gratitude at Windhorse, with this year’s event falling on November 18th. It ‘s the same time as our usual Sunday morning program: 9:30 -11:30, and includes zazen, a talk on the spirit of Thanksgiving, chanting of our dharma ancestral line,…

Rohatsu Sesshin 2018

ROHATSU Our next sesshin will take place over the first week of December: Saturday, Dec.1st through Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8th. The Japanese term for this special sesshin is Rohatsu, which translates as “eighth day of the twelfth month.” Traditionally considered to be the culmination of one’s year of practice, this 7-day sesshin explicitly commemorates the…

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Rooted in the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, NC, Windhorse Zen Community is a group of people who come together to practice Zen, to wake up to the deepest truth of the Buddha’s teaching and embody it in the context of daily activities and relationships.



Lawson Sachter and Sunya Kjolhede were ordained and sanctioned to teach by Roshi Philip Kapleau in the 1990’s. The training at Windhorse blends the strengths of both the Rinzai and Soto schools of Zen within a Western context, using breath, open awareness, and koan inquiry practices.

We also work with unconscious forces that deep practice may bring to the surface – both those that are creative and inspiring, as well as those that stir up difficult mindstates that may undermine one’s dharma work.