Amy Kisei, Sensei

Amy Kisei, Sensei is an authorized Zen teacher, zen priest, spiritual counselor and mindfulness instructor. She has been practicing meditation for almost 20 years. Kisei has 12 years of monastic training and teaching experience from Great Vow Zen Monastery, and holds a BS in Earth Science and Gender Studies. She is trained in Mindful Eating through the University of California San Diego, MECL program. In her spiritual counseling practice Kisei utilizes the tools of meditation/mindfulness, dream-work, process art and ceremony to help people in their healing & awakening process. She is passionate about bringing the practices of meditation/mindfulness into environmental justice & climate grief work and has been instrumental in ZCO’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work. Learn more about Amy Kisei by visiting her website

Events with Amy Kisei, Sensei

Seeing Through - Zen Practices of Emptiness- Online Retreat
December 2, 2022

 “..knowing there is something fundamental in oneself, when one turns the light around (shifts attention from sense experience to the essence of mind) one ejects form, sound, smell, flavor, touch, and phenomena, and attains tranquility. does not grasp sense data but descends among them without being blinded, letting them be…” – Sozan Zenji “Now think of what is without thought. How can you think of it? Be Before Thinking. This is the essence of zazen. Shatter obstacles and become intimate with Awakening Awareness.” – Keizan Zenji Unfortunately, there is a common misunderstanding about Zen meditation- that it is a…

Beginner's Mind Weekend Retreat
December 16, 2022

The teachings and practices of Zen Buddhism empower us to live our lives wholeheartedly with openness, insight and compassion. During this weekend retreat we follow a silent retreat schedule, which allows us to temporarily put aside outside concerns and go deeply into inner work. The silent retreat schedule includes about seven hours of sitting meditation (with breaks), Buddhist chanting services, formal oryoki meals, and a period of community work practice. On the first evening the retreat leaders will give thorough instruction on the foundations and methods of Zen meditation and posture. Opportunities to meet with a teacher or senior practitioner…

January Sesshin: New Year's Sesshin
January 5, 2023

A student asked Joshu, “what is meditation?” Joshu replied, “It’s not meditation.” “Why isn’t it meditation?” “It’s alive, it’s alive!” The most beautiful thing about dharma practice is it’s always, only– right here. We can return to it. We can rediscover it. As a New Year begins. Let’s return to the dharma. The dharma is life-giving. It is restorative. It opens us up to deep intimacy and truth. Seal your new year resolutions with a sesshin. Soften your heart and clarify your mind. For this life, can’t be captured in words or labels–It’s alive, it’s alive! Sesshin is a rigorous…

Becoming Unstuck: a creative process and koan retreat
February 1, 2023

Do you ever feel stuck? Maybe it’s a creative project, a relationship, a job, your spiritual life, your meditation practice, or a certain thought-pattern or belief? As human beings, we tend to tie ourselves up in knots, thinking things should be otherwise, different, somehow better. This thinking can leave us feeling stuck–dry, arid, without options, lacking creativity and perspective.   The dharma teachings remind us that we are process. That all is flowing, changing, regenerating. And yet, we still get stuck–we make conclusions, we grasp and try to hold onto this changing world, we build empires around our knowing, trying…

April Sesshin: This is a Dream
April 17, 2023

At this time, there are dream grasses, grasses within, expressive grasses and so on. When we study this, then roots, stems, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits as well as radiance and color, are all the great dream. Do not mistake them as merely dreamy.–Dogen Zenji The Dharma teachings remind us to regard experience as dream. Could it be that our thoughts, ideas, views of separation–are a dream? The dream-like nature of reality is a teaching on the empty yet apparent nature of experience. It is a teaching of liberation and love. During this sesshin we will explore the nature of…