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6 Days Sesshin Yoga Retreat Netherlands

  • Zen River, Oldörpsterweg 1, 9981 Uithuizen, Groningen, Netherlands


Silent Yoga Netherlands Retreat

Sesshin (literal meaning: to connect the mind / heart) is a silent Zen retreat, with an intensive schedule of zazen (meditation), services, dharma-talks, dokusan, and samu (work practice). The format offers an excellent opportunity to really focus on practice without any distractions. It is no secret that the heightened samadhi of the whole group stimulates participants to break through each barriers of the conditioned mind faster than usual. Discover your spirituality in this peaceful silent retreat.


  • Daily yoga practices
  • Dharma-talks session
  • Daily dokusan and samu
  • Intensive silent meditation sessions
  • 5 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals

Good to know

  • All ages are welcome as participants.

  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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You will be staying at an international Buddhist monastery. The bedrooms are twin, each equipped with washbasin and mirror, bedside lights, small desk, and cupboards. Showers and toilets are located on each hallway.


  • Library
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen
  • Atelier
  • Wood shop
  • Ceremonial hall
  • Zendo

Sesshin is a silent Zen retreat with an intensive schedule of zazen, services, dharma-talks, dokusan and samu (work practice). Although beginners may prefer to start with a Zazenkai or by attending some of the daily schedule first, it is also perfectly okay to start with one of these sesshins - depending on one's motivation. A relatively large group of participants are resident monks and members who attend sesshin regularly and their experience allows newcomers to readily trust the process and learn accordingly.


Meditation is the main focus of Zen River and serves as a base for all other elements. The lineage that Tenkei Roshi and Myoho Sensei represent belongs to the Soto school of Zen, but is also influenced by the training methods of other schools. That means that besides shikantaza, koans are practiced extensively. This combination has the advantage of providing a broad range of methods so that the needs of individual students can be met.

Dharma Talk (Teisho)

Every Wednesday evening during the regular daily schedule Tenkei Roshi gives a Teisho (Dharma Talk), usually on a koan or a short excerpt from Zen classics like the "Eihei Koroku" of Dogen Zenji.


  • 04:55 Wake up
  • 05:00 Tea and coffee
  • 05:30 Zazen (3 periods)
  • 07:30 Morning service
  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 09:15 Samu / work
  • 10:45 Yoga / exercise
  • 11:00 Tea and coffee
  • 11:30 Zazen and dharma talk
  • 12:40 Zazen
  • 13:10 Noon service
  • 13:20 Lunch
  • 15:30 Tea and coffee
  • 16:00 Zazen (3 periods)
  • 17:50 Evening service
  • 18:00 Supper
  • 19:30 Zazen (3 periods)
  • 21:15 Four vows
  • 21:20 Tea
  • 21:45 Lights out


  • As the zendo is a silent area Zen River recommends you to save your questions until the zazen session is over.
  • Whisper your question away from public spaces so no one will hear you.
  • If you are still not sure what you are supposed to be doing or how to do it, simply imitate the crowd.
  • Sesshin etiquette requires everyone to remain silent.
  • It is recommended to neither read nor write anything else for the remainder of the sesshin, unless instructed by the teacher to do so.
  • Dishwashing is a big part of the sesshin.
  • Address the teacher by title only, for example “Roshi” or “Sensei”, and put their Dharma name first followed by their title. Do not address the teacher with their first name.
  • If, for some reason, you need to leave the sesshin earlier than you planned, please let the Jisha know.
  • Move around the building quietly. Please do not yell, take showers after the lights are out or before wake up time, cough, splutter, blow nose, clear throat, whistle, hum, sing, slam doors, stomp around the hallways and staircases, forget to use deodorant or fail to take a shower, and do anything that may cause undue attention directed towards oneself.
  • During sesshin, everyone from beginners, lay practitioners, to monks practice together, so please be considerate.

Anton Tenkei Coppens

Anton Tenkei Coppens was born in the Netherlands, studied Art and Art History, and worked for almost fifteen years as a painter and a teacher. He started Zen practice in 1976 in the UK and went to the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1980 where he met Maezumi Roshi and Genpo Roshi.

Tenkei and his wife, Tammy, left the USA at the turn of the century and went to Japan to live and practice for six months in the temple of Maezumi Roshi’s brother, Junyu Kuroda Roshi (Hojo-san). He and Tammy finally settled in the Netherlands in the fall of 2000 and, together with a fast growing sangha, established Zen River in Uithuizen.

In November 2003, he completed a one month Tokubetsu sesshin at Zuioji temple, Niihama, Japan, which gave him further certification within the Soto School. Later, he was granted the official status of Kokusai Fukyoshi (certified teacher who spreads the dharma internationally). On January 23, 2006, Tenkei received Inka, the final seal of approval as a Zen master (and the title of Roshi) from Genpo Roshi.

Tamara Myoho Gabrysch

Tamara (Tammy) Myoho Gabrysch was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She grew up in Lancashire and went on to study Fine Art in Manchester where she received a Bachelor of Arts Hons. Degree in 1986. In November 1988, Myoho received Jukai and in March 1991, she received Shukke Tokudo (ordination).

After Genpo Roshi relocated Kanzeon Zen Center to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1993, she began to cook for the residential program and was the Tenzo (head cook) for many years.

In 2002, she and her husband, Tenkei, established Zen River where she serves as Tenzo, webmaster and as public relation administrator. After receiving Shiho from Genpo Roshi in Salt Lake City on May 10, 2008, she made a start with formal teaching and in 2013 completed formal training in Japan at Toshoji monastery in Okayama, which gave her further certification within the Soto School as Kyoshi (priest).

Zen River is located in a beautiful property on the outskirts of Uithuizen, a small village on the northern edge of Holland close to the Waddensea. It enjoys the spaciousness and tranquility of the country-side and yet it is easily accessible by public transportation.

  • 5 nights’ accommodation
  • Coffee and tea
  • Daily intensive meditation sessions (zazen)
  • Daily vegetarian meals
  • Daily yoga practices
  • Dharma-talks sessions
  • Dokusan and samu (work practice)

Driving directions from Groningen

  • Drive up to Groningen.
  • On the Ring road around the city follow 'Eemshaven'.
  • On the N46 ('Eemshavenweg') after 20 minutes take the exit 'Uithuizen'.
  • In the village at the first crossroads, turn left ('Cohenstraat' - 'Kennedylaan').
  • After 700 meters, at the crossroads, turn left ('Maarweg'), and take the first road to the right ('Oldörpsterweg').
  • You will find the Zen River parking lot on the left side of the road after passing the new housing development.

Arrival by train

  • Embark on a train going to Groningen. Trains to Groningen leave Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) at 3 and 33 minutes past each hour from Platform 1-2. Check the displays for current information.
  • The 3 minutes past train is direct to Groningen. This is the simplest choice.
  • The 33 minutes past train to Groningen requires changing trains in Zwolle.
  • In Schiphol, there are blue signs in-between the platforms that indicate which side of the platform the next train is arriving on. The information screens along each platform also indicate the next arriving train.
  • If changing trains in Zwolle, the connecting train usually leaves on the opposite platform you came in on.
  • Disembark the train at the end station, Groningen Centraal Station.
  • From Groningen Centraal Station, embark on a local train going to Roodeschool. Trains leave every half hour at 22 minutes and 52 minutes past the hour from Platform 2A or 3A until 19:22, after which trains leave hourly at 22 minutes past. Journey time is 35 minutes.
  • Disembark at the sixth station Uithuizen. The station before you get off is called Usquert.
  • Trains from Amsterdam Centraal city center leave 7 minutes past the hour (change at Almere and Groningen) and 32 minutes past the hour (change at Amersfoort and Groningen) 37 minutes past the hour (change at Almere, Zwolle, Groningen).

Walking directions to Zen River from Uithuizen station

  • In Uithuizen, turn right when leaving the station on to the Spoorstraat, going back in the direction of where the train came from.
  • Take any left turn on Spoorstraat, and then turn first right onto Schoolstraat.
  • Walk along Schoolstraat until you reach the Tamoil gas station at Startstraat / Maarweg.
  • Turn left onto the Startstraat / Maarweg.
  • Walk straight, crossing over the J.F. Kennedylaan.
  • Turn right onto the Oldorpsterweg.
  • Continue along Oldorpsterweg and pass the small hill on your left.
  • Zen River Temple is the first building on the left between the trees.


  • Uithuizen Train Station - 20 to 25 minutes' walk
For information about the booking conditions, please send Zen River an inquiry.
  • Review by Fay McIntyre
    8 out of 10

    "Thank you for sharing an amazing time and place."

    Zen River Facebook page, edited, edited

  • Review by Louise Welzien
    8 out of 10

    "What an extraordinary time. Many thanks from San Francisco. See you again. Gasshō!"

    Zen River Facebook page, edited, edited

  • Review by Lorenzo Wong from Paramaribo, Suriname
    8 out of 10

    "Thank you for the time I could spend in your temple. The sesshin and everything else was of the best which is not often found and makes Zen River a unique place for practice in the Netherlands. This place is a diamond standard place. May all beings be well."

    Zen River Facebook page, edited, edited

Uithuizen, Netherlands

Zen River is an international Buddhist monastery that offers year-round training programs and sesshin or silent Zen retreats.

Speaks your language

from US$376

6 days / 5 nights

Thursday October 27, 2016
(6 days / 5 nights)

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