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Fall Zen Sesshin
Mercy Center Burlingame

Burlingame, California, USA

Burlingame labyrinth.jpeg

"There’s never a good time for Mindfulness, and there’s never a bad time. Mindfulness is one of those things you simply do, because if you practice being aware - completely open to the universe, just exactly as it is - you will transform your life in time.”

 - Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., Rōshi

Cost: $900(USD) per person

Registration is required, and space is limited.

Registration opens mid-summer. 

If you need alternative payment arrangements aside from standard options on payment page, please include details in registration notes, and choose "Pay Later".


Mindfulness practice has its roots in Eastern meditative and Western Christian contemplative traditions. The contemporary clinical use of mindfulness as a treatment for mental disorders has focused on the core characteristics of mindfulness practice, independent of its spiritual origin and background. In this context, mindfulness is understood as the practice of awareness of “what is” at the level of direct and immediate experience separate from concepts, category, and expectations. It is the practice of living awake, with your eyes wide open; allowing the moment, so to speak. Mindfulness is thus the practice of willingness to be alive to the moment and radical acceptance of the entirety of the moment. The path of mindfulness is a journey without maps or destination, a path for you to discover and experience for yourself. At the same time, it is the window to freedom and wisdom.

The Mindfulness Retreat

The Zen Mindfulness Retreat offers the opportunity for an extended period of practice. At a retreat, we separate ourselves from our daily affairs in order to sink deeply into mindful practice, free to transcend the background chatter of our busy minds. These retreats follow the style and format initiated by Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B. (Ko-un Rōshi) and carried to the United States by Marsha Linehan. Formal procedures are observed. We practice together but we do not interact. Silence is observed throughout the retreat with the exception of the opening and closing meals, and private interviews with the teacher. A brief mindfulness talk is given each morning by Zen Master Randy.


The Retreat consists of four daily blocks of sitting: early morning, late morning, afternoon and evening. Each block is broken up into periods of 25 minutes of sitting. There is a 5-minute period of walking mindfulness between each period of sitting. Private interviews with the teachers are held during blocks of sitting. There is a rest period after each block of sitting and a daily work period. Mindfulness practice periods of extended walking and mindful dance are interspersed within sitting periods. It is assumed that everyone will participate fully in the daily cycle unless prior arrangements have been made.

Check-in is at 3 pm on Wednesday, orientation to the center and instruction on sitting is at 4:30 PM and dinner is at 6:00 PM. The first evening sit will start at 7:30 PM.  Departure time is 10 AM on Sunday.

Retreat Leader: Randy Wolbert LMSW, Zen Rōshi

Randy Wolbert LMSW, Zen Rōshi, (Jak-Un- Serene Cloud) is a former DBT trainer with Behavioral Tech and Zen Master with Empty Cloud Sangha. Randy trains and consults widely throughout the world, directing several large-scale system implementations. 


Randy is a long time Zen Student of Marsha Linehan and Greg Mayers.  He was recognized by Willigis Jaeger as a Zen teacher in 2016 and was confirmed as a Zen teacher in 2018 by Marsha Linehan. In 2021 he received transmission as a dharma heir of Zen Master (Rōshi) Greg Mayers. He has led mindfulness workshops and Zen mindfulness retreats in the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Jordan, and Germany. 

Retreat Venue

Mercy Center Burlingame is a ministry of the sisters of Mercy. The retreat center consists of 40 acres in a quiet residential neighborhood just 10 minutes away from the San Francisco Airport.

The accommodations for this retreat are all standard single rooms with a shared bathroom on each floor.

Due to the fluctuation in room temperatures, please bring a sweater or jacket in order to keep yourself comfortable.  Please wear solid, dark, loose clothing for the evening dance.  Brightly colored or printed clothing can be distracting to others.  Loose-fitting clothing is best for comfort during the extended periods of sitting.  Shorts and sleeveless tops are not allowed in the zendo, although you may wear them during work or rest periods.  Please remove extraneous jewelry for the duration of the retreat.  Perfumes, after-shave, and colognes can also be distracting to others.  Sandals or slip-on shoes are recommended for basic outdoor walking during the retreat, and are easily removed at the front door to the Zendo.  You may wish to keep other shoes handy for extended outdoor walking contemplation, if you plan to hike, or if you would like to garden.  

Registration Information

Retreat has limited capacity; please register early.  Room rates for the retreat include sleeping accommodations for Wednesday through Saturday nights and meals for Wednesday evening (dinner) through Sunday morning (breakfast).  The rate for retreat participants is $900 per person for a single room.  Please email retreat coordinator at  for more information.

Cancellations and Refunds

Requests for refunds must be made in writing.  Full refunds minus $50 will be made for requests made at least fourteen days before the start date of the retreat. No refunds will be made thereafter.

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