About Treetop Zen Center
Treetop Zen Center provides a relaxed place to practice zazen (meditation) and work with teachers in daisan (private, one-on-one interviews). Our central
Maine location is close to both Waterville and Augusta. There are meditation sessions Monday through Saturday, half-day sits most months, and two annual
weekend retreats (in mud season and autumn) and week-long retreats (spring sesshin and Rohatsu).
We welcome you to attend any event at any time.
We meet in the zendo, which is located above the garage just past the main house. Enter the garage through the door near the far right side of the building, leave your shoes, and come upstairs through the white door. If it’s your first visit, we recommend arriving 30 minutes early for a brief orientation. However, even if you arrive after we’ve already begun service or sitting, a senior student will be happy to show you around and assist you in getting settled in.
The sitting schedule at Treetop in Oakland is:
Wednesdays at 7:00 PM: zazen and daisan
Saturdays at 9:00 AM: zazen and daisan, sometimes preceded by service and followed with a dharma talk
1st Saturday of each month at 6:00 AM: half-day sit including oryoki breakfast, service, daisan, and a dharma talk (those who wish to start at the traditional 9:00 AM are free to do so)
293 Country Club Road
For more information, please see our meditation schedule.
If you’re coming from the Lewiston or Augusta area, contact Jaime for
available ride sharing to Oakland on Saturdays.
If you’re coming from the Bangor area, contact Deborah for
available ride sharing to Oakland on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Portland: Wild Fox Sangha
In addition to our Oakland zendo, we have a Portland affiliate under the guidance of Treetop Senior Teacher and Spiritual Director Peter Seishin Wohl. The group meets on Wednesday nights at 6:00 PM. The zendo is located near Monument Square above the Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery. Street parking is free after hours. All are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact us.
48 Free Street
Lewiston: Great Falls Zen
We’re excited to announce the creation of our new Lewiston affiliate under the guidance of Jaime Heiku McLeod. The group will meet every Tuesday at 7:00 PM starting January 17, 2017. The location is at the Bates College chapel. All are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Peter J. Gomes Chapel
275 College Street
Keene, New Hampshire: Walking Tree Zen
If you’re near southwestern New Hampshire, there’s a meditation group in Keene led by Todd Hotai Watson. Walking Tree Zen hosts weekly Zen meditation practice Tuesday evenings from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Monadnock Waldorf High School. Participation is free and open to anyone, and instruction is provided for beginners.
Monadnock Waldorf High School
136 School Street
Keene, New Hampshire
The Maine Woods in Winter
An Eco-Spiritual Weekend
February 10–12, 2017
This eco-spiritual weekend will be held at Treetop Zen Center in Oakland, Maine. But although it is located at the Zen center and its environs, this is not a Zen meditation retreat. It is a time to experience deep intimacy with the woodlands in winter. There will be some time spent meditating, but there will also be talks on eco-spirituality, opportunities to drink tea while we relax and get acquainted and discuss our outdoor experiences, readings on nature, and as much time outside as weather and the schedule permit.
When we go out in the woods — in addition to silent walking and snowshoeing — we will learn about forest ecology and how to identify tracks and trees and animal behavior in the snowy woods. We will also participate in eco-psychology exercises. Our movements outdoors will be at a slow, leisurely pace and we will avoid steep areas. Our goal is deep connection, not athleticism, so there won’t be any strenuous trekking. People of all abilities can participate.
We will our meals as a community in the Oryoki style. This traditional Japanese temple form is highly ecological, as it helps us to have focused attention on eating “just the right amount” with nothing wasted. We will have vegetarian meals with as much locavore organic food as is practical.
The weekend will be led by Treetop Senior Teacher and Spiritual Director Peter Seishin Wohl. In addition to being a Zen teacher, he is a registered Maine guide. Peter has taught eco-psychology at Burlington College and has presented workshops about connecting with nature at a number of conferences around New England including Maine’s HOPE Conference, the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery annual retreat, and Connecticut’s Pathways to Recovery Conference. He has also led eco-spiritual trips in Maine, Vermont, and Québec.
Accommodations are hostel style — there is a large room with meditation mats that will be used for sleeping. The cost of the weekend (including meals and simple lodging) is $100. There are also three small off-grid heated cabins suitable for one person or a couple. A cabin is an additional $35 per person. Enrollment is limited to eight.
What you will need for the weekend:
· Layered dress appropriate for February temperatures in Maine, which can vary from 40 degrees above to below zero. Should include an outer layer that protects from snow, rain, and wind. Cotton clothes such as jeans are not suitable.
· Good comfortable boots for snowy woods.
· Snowshoes and poles (optional). We have a number of pairs of snowshoes available for those who need them.
· Sleeping bag.
· Sleeping pad (optional). Meditation mats are available for sleeping in the main rooms. Cabins have mattresses.
· Toiletries and towel.
· Pillow (optional).
· Oryoki set (if you have one). Sets are available for those who need one.
· Camera (optional).
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the weekend.
Ask a Zen Teacher: How do I do things slowly, one at a time?
The Zen of Nature, the Nature of Zen
Treetop’s Peter Joryu Harris gave this seven-minute presentation on Zen as part of a Waterville PechaKucha: