Events & Retreats

In addition to our regular meditation schedule, Treetop offers a variety of events and retreats to deepen your practice, from study groups to weekend intensives and week-long sesshins.

Winter Sesshin

7 p.m. Saturday, January 6–lunch on Friday, January 12
Sesshins offer the opportunity to deepen one’s practice with a longer, more intense period of silence, including a rigorous schedule of silent seated meditation, daisan (face-to-face teaching), chanting services, work practice, dharma talks, and formal oryoki meals. A suggested donation of $45 per full day covers shared lodging and vegetarian meals.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

An Afternoon of Zen in American Poetry

1 p.m.–3:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 3
America now has a slew of Buddhist poets, but was there Zen poetry in America before there was Zen poetry in America? Peter Joryu Harris will lead the afternoon’s readings.

Study Group: Classic Chinese Poetry

11 a.m.–noon on Saturday, February 10, and Saturday, February 17
Peter Joryu Harris will lead a group on classic Chinese poetry from a thousand years ago — voices fresh as flowers. We’ll read poets from the Tang and Song dynasties, including Wang Wei, China’s most revered male poet, and Li Ch’ing Chao, China’s greatest female poet. Reading material will be provided.

The study group follows our usual Saturday-morning sit and includes a potluck lunch. If you want to contribute, please bring a vegetarian or vegan dish to share.

Ecospiritual Retreat

dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 23–lunch on Sunday, February 25
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
— Aldo Leopold

Can we, just for a little while, shed the anthropocentric views that shape our relationship to the world, courageously mounting our escape from the prison of cognitive structures that separates us from the experience of genuine intimacy with “all our relations”?  Can we breathe deeply and taste the air that isn’t contaminated by our human preconceptions and preoccupations? Can we hear the sound that existed before all sounds came into being? Can we really feel the pulse of life in the wild that surrounds us?

These are some of the questions we’ll explore in the wintry Maine woods. We will spend the weekend alternately stepping silently into the frosty wildness and returning to the wood fire’s heat to drink tea and bathe in the warmth of our retreat community. We will explore silence and darkness. We will gather in the soft flickering light of oil lamp and wood stove to share stories as our ancestors have done for millennia. We will engage in ecopsychological and ecospiritual activities that will help us peel off our mental husks, exposing the softness of our true nature — intimacy with all of creation. We will eat simple, vegetarian, largely locavore meals in the traditional oryoki style, consciously acknowledging the connection to all that supports our lives. Perhaps we will experience genuine nourishment tasting and seeing the whole universe in our bowls. We will participate in preparing the meals and in keeping our spaces clean, recognizing the essential role of the elemental tasks of living with simplicity and sincerity.

The retreat will be led by Peter Seishin Wohl, a Zen Buddhist priest and teacher, a Registered Maine Guide, an unapologetic tree hugger, and a wanderer of wild places.

For those from out of town, we have simple accommodations available at Treetop. Participation is limited to eight people. A $50 deposit will hold your place. The requested donation for the weekend is $175; however, we will provide a work-scholarship arrangement for anyone who cannot afford the full price.

For more information, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

Finding Conscious Contact: a Recovery Retreat

7 p.m. on Friday, March 9–lunch on Sunday, March 11
When we truly live recovery, we are profoundly restructuring our relationship with ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. It is not hyperbole to say that it is a process of rebirth, of restorative healing, a beautiful turning of the human spirit and therefore a deeply spiritual process. Perhaps as Carl Jung suggested, our addictions are the misguided attempt of our naked and frightened spirits, living in the diaspora of individuation and personal isolation, to find in substances the solace that only true spiritual connection can offer. Whether our view of the structure of being is theistic, non-theistic, agnostic, or atheistic, sooner or later we must find a source of transpersonal connection on the journey of recovery. We must come to experience our true home in this world, our relationship with the Source, the Fount, our True Nature, the Great Spirit, God, or Goddess.

In 12-step programs, the 11th step seeks through prayer and meditation to find “conscious contact with the God of our understanding.” Perhaps that terminology is uncomfortably theistic for some of us, but the fundamental need for conscious contact as the remedy for the terminal disease we all share — the human condition — remains incontrovertible. However, as those of us who have spent time “in the rooms” probably realize, while many profess adherence to this step, very few really understand what conscious contact is or how it can be awakened and sustained as an underpinning of the recovery process.

In this weekend retreat we will bring together elements of Christianity, Buddhism, ecospirituality, and indigenous spiritual perspectives to help us explore the concept of conscious contact. This will not be a philosophical or theoretical discussion. Through talk and silence and through poetics, meditation, contemplation, prayer, intimate community, and nature, we will directly experience what conscious contact means to each of us and learn how we can deepen that connection and manifest it in our lives.

For those from out of town, we have simple accommodations available at Treetop. Participation is limited to 12 people. A $50 deposit will hold your place. The requested donation for the weekend is $175; however, we will provide a work-scholarship arrangement for anyone who cannot afford the full price.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

Beginners Orientation

9 a.m.–noon on Saturday, March 24
Jaime Heiku McLeod will lead a thorough orientation for those new to meditation. A vegetarian lunch will be provided.

Mud Season Retreat

7 p.m. on Friday, April 6–lunch on Sunday, April 8
This weekend retreat includes a rigorous schedule of silent seated meditation, daisan (face-to-face teaching), chanting services, work practice, dharma talks, and formal oryoki meals. A suggested donation of $45 per full day covers shared lodging and vegetarian meals.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

Study Group: Japanese Haiku

11 a.m.–noon on Saturday, April 14; Saturday, April 21; and Saturday, April 28
Haiku from the Japanese masters: miniature catapults into silence. Peter Joryu Harris will lead this study group using the book Essential Haiku, edited by Robert Hass.

The group follows our usual Saturday-morning sit and includes a potluck lunch. If you want to contribute, please bring a vegetarian or vegan dish to share.

Spring Sesshin

7 p.m. on Friday, June 1–lunch on Monday, June 4
Sesshins offer the opportunity to deepen one’s practice with a longer, more intense period of silence, including a rigorous schedule of silent seated meditation, daisan (face-to-face teaching), chanting services, work practice, dharma talks, and formal oryoki meals. A suggested donation of $45 per full day covers shared lodging and vegetarian meals.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

White Plum Asanga Annual Meeting

June 21–24
Treetop is honored to host this year’s White Plum Asanga annual meeting, which will use the theme of ecodharma to introduce you to Maine’s remarkable natural environment. In keeping with that, we have planned two day trips: The first will be to Acadia National Park, and the second will be to West Shirley Bog.

For more details and to apply for a spot, click here for fillable PDF forms.

Once you’ve received confirmation of your registration, pay here:

White Plum Options



Beginners Orientation

9 a.m.–noon on Saturday, September 15
Jaime Heiku McLeod will lead a thorough orientation for those new to meditation. A vegetarian lunch will be provided.

Memorial Service for Stefano Mui Barragato

9 a.m. on Saturday, September 29
Stef’s memorial service will be followed by our regular Saturday-morning sit.

Autumn Weekend Retreat

7 p.m. on Friday, October 19–lunch on Sunday, October 21
This weekend retreat includes a rigorous schedule of silent seated meditation, daisan (face-to-face teaching), chanting services, work practice, dharma talks, and formal oryoki meals. A suggested donation of $45 per full day covers shared lodging and vegetarian meals.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.

Rohatsu and Memorial Service for Margaret Ne-Eka Barragato

6 a.m.–approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 8
Rohatsu will follow a typical retreat schedule, with Margaret’s memorial service at 9:30 a.m.

Winter Sesshin

7 p.m. on Saturday, January 5–lunch on Friday, January 11, 2019
Sesshins offer the opportunity to deepen one’s practice with a longer, more intense period of silence, including a rigorous schedule of silent seated meditation, daisan (face-to-face teaching), chanting services, work practice, dharma talks, and formal oryoki meals. A suggested donation of $45 per full day covers shared lodging and vegetarian meals.

For more information and to register, e-mail info@treetopzencenter.org.