Zen Meditation Retreats for Increasing Mindfulness

We strongly encourage everyone to step back from their busy lives and attend retreats as often as possible. They are a wonderful way to deepen your practice.  

We have been offering meditation retreats for over 25 years. We now offer 3 seven-day retreats each year as well as several three-day meditation retreats. These retreats are non-residential and are conducted in deep silence. They involve intensive meditation, daily dharma talks, interviews with teachers, morning services, work practice rest, the Practice of Immediacy in the Arts® and 3 delicious Zen home-cooked meals a day (meals for full-time participants).

If you live in the area you can sleep at home.

If you are traveling from a distance, the Zen Center is located about 20 minutes drive from either the O'hare International Airport or the Midway Airport. You may make reservations at The Carleton of Oak Park which is close to the Green Line train which goes right by the Zen Center. It's about a 5 minute train ride away. You  may choose to also find cheaper accommodations at local Airbnb's. There are many such rental opportunities in Oak Park. If you wish, we can also provide you with car transportation to and from your hotel or Airbnb, as long as it's within the immediate area of the Zen Center.  

We ask that you have an established meditation practice before you come to the 7-day retreats. 

Upcoming 2019 Meditation Retreats:

Dana Summer Retreat: May 30 - June 1
Women’s Retreat: June 21 - June 22


Summer Retreat
May 30 - June 1, 2019

This is a nonresidential retreat held at Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago, located in Oak Park, Illinois. This will be a Dana (donation) Retreat, meaning you can pay what you wish.

The retreat will be held in deep silence. It includes intensive meditation, morning Zen services, daily dharma talks, private interviews with teachers, work practice, rest and 3 delicious home-cooked Zen meals each day. Full-Time students only. See schedule below:



If you would like to make a dana donation for the retreat, you can make an online donation through PayPal by clicking the link below. You may also make a donation by check, cash, or online at the end of retreat.

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Women’s Retreat
June 21 - 22, 2019

In this Zen Life & Meditation Center Chicagoʻs Womenʻs Retreat, we will bear witness to the threat of climate change to Mother Earth, our complicity in it, and our response as Buddhist women. The earthʻs ecosystems are dying. How do we follow our heartbreak and keep from being overwhelmed when all of our impulses tend toward distraction?

“As insight into the living reality of interconnectedness unfolds, our practice shifts from a personal goal of transcendence to “leave the world,” to a fuller transmission that embraces the world from a place of compassion. In our unprecedented times, when all we care for is endangered, a personal, pragmatic and ethical response is vital, but is not enough to inspire the collaboration needed to challenge the hubris of our mega-carbon-producing lifestyles.”

How can we, as eco-sattvas, engage our deepest wisdom and practices of lovingkindness, compassion, empathic joy and equanimity to bear witness to our collective grief and take action? How do we help foster a collaborative, global community to transform the greed, hatred and delusion driving our destructive behavior?


Roshi Susan Myoyu Andersen is the spiritual director and resident teacher of the Great Plains Zen Center in Monroe, WI. She is one of Maezumi Roshi’s 12 original dharma successors. Myoyu works with Justice Overcoming Borders, an affiliate of WISDOM Wisconsin, on social justice issues in her community and serves on WISDOM’s racial equity core team. She is a member of Zen Peacemakers International and is a mother and grandmother, with a background as an occupational therapist serving differently-abled individuals.

Sensei June Ryushin Tanoue is a Zen priest, teacher and co-founder of the Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago. She teaches meditation at Cook County Correctional Facility. She spent 25 years in foodbanking in Portland, OR; Hawaii Island; and with Feeding America in Chicago. She is a Kumu Hula (Master Teacher of Hula) and founded Halau I Ka Pono, the Hula School of Chicago  in September 2009.  She has a B.S. in Biology and MPH, Nutrition.

Special Guest:

Nance Klehm has been an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower for more than two decades. She is internationally respected for her work on land politics and soil heath. She won the 2012 Utne Visionary Prize and has been a two-time finalist for the Curry-Stone Design Prize. In addition, she has lectured broadly in museum and university settings as well as for countless community groups worldwide. Most recently, she was the subject of the independent documentary Weedeater.

Nance founded Social Ecologies, and more information about her life and work can be found at her website.


Friday: June 21, 2019 7 - 9 pm
Saturday: June 22nd 9 am - 9 pm, includes vegetarian lunch and supper
Sunday: June 23rd 8:30 - 10 am Meditation
10 - 11 am - Summer Solstice Celebration

$250/$195 Members

The only part-time passes are available for 7 day retreats and consists of participating in all of the morning meditations or all of the evening meditations. 

We will only be able to refund your fee, if you cancel at least one week before the retreat. The passes you buy for a retreat are only good for that retreat and no others.