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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,…

Windhorse Sittings and Programs: March 2019

Weekly Programs and Formal Sittings Sunday Programs:  March 10.: We will have a program this Sunday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., followed by a sangha potluck, as always March 17 and 24: no open program (because the sesshin – retreat) March 31.: Program this Sunday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., followed by a sangha potluck. Evening Sittings: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7-9:00 pm Please…

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…

Windhorse Zen Postings: Autumn 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018 For decades I’ve found myself at times pondering what it must have been like to have been an open-minded, good-hearted citizen of Germany in the 1930’s, as Hitler and the Third Reich gathered power and momentum.  I’ve read that at that time, fewer than a third of those living in Berlin…

“The Mind’s Dragons” now available in Tricycle Magazine

Lawson and Sunya’s latest article, “The Mind’s Dragons,” is now available in the Winter 2018 edition of Tricycle Magazine. You can also find it through our newly revised PsychoDynamicZen.org site, which offers a more in-depth picture of the role of the unconscious in dharma practice, and the ways that our Zentensive Workshop and Retreats help to address some of the issues unique to Western practitioners.

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“Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures.”




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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.