Sesshin: What to Bring

For the zendo bring a sitting robe (and rakusu) if you have them. If you don't have a robe, there are loaner robes available. Preferably pick one out at the Centre before sesshin, so you get one that fits well. There will also be some loaner robes available at sesshin. Be sure that the clothes you bring to wear under the robe are suitable; you should have at least a t-shirt on so the stick doesn't sting. Avoid bringing hooded sweatshirts or very thick fleece as these make it hard for the kyosaku to be used accurately. Pants should be loose-fitting so circulation is not restricted. If clothing is visible, subdued colours are preferable. The zendo is kept cool in winter so be prepared with plenty of layers. Robes are worn at all times except for work or exercises.  

Clothing with busy patterns, pictures, or writing is not suitable for sesshin work or exercise periods, nor is anything tight-fitting or revealing. If you need to wear socks in the zendo, make sure they are dark (not white or brightly coloured). Bring closed shoes for working in the kitchen (jandals or sandals are not OK for safety reasons). 

Other items to bring: raincoat, sheets and pillowcase, towel, personal toiletries (no strong perfumes please) including toothpaste, torch, insect repellent (odourless). Also highly recommended: slip-on shoes, jandals or sandals for going to dokusan, sturdier shoes for walking, and earplugs if you are a light sleeper. 

No extra food should be brought to sesshin unless absolutely necessary for health reasons, and anything you want to bring must be cleared with the Head Monitor. 

If you are taking any prescription medicines during sesshin, please remember to bring them, and let the Head Monitor know what you are taking.