Windhorse Zen Community

Windhorse Zen Community, Inc. is a residential training center offering essential Buddhist teachings and practices within a lay, community-based context. By working with evolving forms of dharma practice—ones uniquely responsive to the relational, psychodynamic, and ecological forces that shape our present reality—we seek to help people live fuller, freer, and more compassionate lives.

The training at Windhorse is open to all who seek a more authentic and fulfilling way of being in the world. Working with breath, koan, and awareness practices, we offer regular weekly sessions, residential training, sesshin retreats, and Zentensives. Windhorse is maintained as a 16 acre wildlife refuge, and is located just outside of Asheville, NC, and overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sunya Kjolhede and Lawson Sachter, the founders and spiritual directors of Windhorse, were ordained and sanctioned to teach by Roshi Philip Kapleau.

Sunya-roshi, along with her other teaching activities, has traveled regularly for over two decades to Poland, where she serves as spiritual director of the Bodhidharma Zen Center, a Polish Zen community founded by Roshi Kapleau in 1975. She has trained in Clinical Pastoral Education, working for a period of time as a hospital chaplain, and has also worked as a storyteller in schools.

Lawson-roshi is also the spiritual director of the Clear Water Zen Center, and a licensed psychotherapist with extensive training in Habib Davanloo’s ISTDP. Many of his clients have been engaged in dharma practice, and he also leads specialized trainings called Zentensives. These retreats are APA accredited trainings designed specifically for mental health professionals, and others interested in working with the unconscious dynamics that arise during intensive meditation.

While the practice at Windhorse is rooted in the depth and power of East Asian wisdom teachings, we also value the contributions of the psychotherapeutic community to the greater well-being of so many. We emphasize a dynamic practice both on the mat and in the world—a living practice that helps us to respond in wise, flexible, and heartfelt ways, to the realities and urgent challenges of contemporary life.

February 24
All Beings are Buddha:
Foundations of Buddhist Practice

February 24 from 1:30-5:00 PM
In-person and Zoom Opportunities  

   Join us for an experiential program focusing on the deep roots of the Zen tradition, as well as an in-depth exploration of meditation postures, breath, and koan work. We will also look at the power practice in every day life, with special emphasis on the roles of feelings and relationships.

Roshi Sunya Kjolhede will be leading this online and in-person workshop, assisted by center residents and senior students. Newcomers and longtime meditators are welcome. Afterward, in-person participants are invited to join us for a light supper of soup and salad. 

  • This program is offered for free; however, if you feel called to do so, please click the donate button on the top left of this page.
  • For those with children, childcare will be offered.
  • With Covid-19 and other illnesses on the rise, we will still require in-person participants to be vaccinated against Covid-19. We may be asking participants to take a Covid-19 rapid test prior to attending.
  • Questions? Reach out at
Click on the button below to register. The last day to register is Monday, February 19.



February 25
Zazenaki: A Day of Practice

In-person and on Zoom

    Join us for a day of seated, walking, working, eating, and listening practice.

Here is the schedule:

  • 6:30-7:45 AM: Seated and Walking Meditation, Chanting Service
  • 7:45-8:15 AM: Breakfast
  • 8:15-9:30 AM: Work Practice and Break
  • 9:30 AM-12:00 PM: Seated and Walking Meditation, Teisho (talk) from one of our Roshis, Dokusan (Private interview with one of our roshis)
  • 12:00-12:30 PM: Lunch
  • 12:30-1:30 PM: Work Practice and Break
  • 1:30-4:00 PM: Seated and Walking Meditation, Dokusan (Private Interview with one of our roshis), Chanting Service

Practictioners of all levels are welcome. There are options for full-time and part-time participation.

Please reach out to Steve at with any questions.

Click on the button below to register. The last day to register is Tuesday, February 20.

About Windhorse


Getting Started

Great is the matter of birth and death
Life slips quickly by
Time waits for no one
Wake up! Wake up!
Don’t waste a moment!

– Zen Master Bassui