2024 Beginner’s Mind Sesshin

A 3-day meditation retreat
(Available via Zoom & in-person)

Thursday, February 15 (eve) – Sunday, Febrauary 18

Led by Sensei Tom Dharma-Joy Reichert & Sensei Mark Shogen Bloodgood


Sesshin, “to unify the mind,” is an essential practice for the deepening for one’s zazen. This introductory sesshin is designed to introduce you to sesshin practice by providing more opportunities for instruction, questions, and explanations. Full time participation is encouraged as it’s only a little over three days. If you wish to participate part time, please let Myoki know your precise attendance, including expected arrival and departure times. Part time consists of at least a half a day, including all scheduled activities. Housing is not guaranteed. First come, first served. Newcomers please also fill out the application online. Both first time* and seasoned practitioners are encouraged and welcome to participate. Schedule and details to follow.

Newcomers especially welcome.

*Non-members and new members: Attending an in-person “Introduction to Zen Meditation Class” is a prerequisite for attending all onsite activities.

In-person Participants:

Click here to view fee structure.


$25 fee for dropping out or registering past posted deadlines.

Zoom Participants:

Members: $40 / day; $120 full-time

Non-Members: $60 / day; $180 full-time


$25 fee for dropping out or registering past posted deadlines.

Email to all participants will go out on the morning of Thursday, February.

Click here to view tentative schedule.


You can rent an oryoki set for $25 or buy your own oryoki bowls here: Oryoki Set – Zen Center of Los Angeles (zcla.org).

Oryoki intruction will be offered in-person only on the first night.


Click here to request Dharma Training Fund.

Please note: Requests for Dharma Training Fund will not be accepted after posted deadlines.


(If you have concerns about payments or any other questions, please contact programsteward@zcla.org)


Check off your days:
*Part time consists of at least a half a day, including all scheduled activities.

Enter any additional notes regarding your retreat registration including food allergies and housing requests. If you are commuting or a part-time participant, please use this field to indicate your expected arrival and departure times.:

Sensei Tom Dharma-Joy Reichert first came to ZCLA in 1999. He received Jukai in 2001, Novice Priest Ordination (Tokudo) in August 2011 and full Priest/Preceptor Empowerment (Denkai) in August 2019, all from Roshi Egyoku. He was named a Dharma-Holder in June 2020, was installed as ZCLA’s Head Priest and Preceptor (Jūshoku) in April 2022, received Dharma Transmission (Denbo) from Roshi Egyoku in December 2022 and ascended to become ZCLA’s fifth Abbot in May 2023.


Growing up in the Episcopal Church, Sensei Mark Kizan Shōgen Angyo Bloodgood aspired to become an Episcopal priest during his pre-college years. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a “subtle feeling” nudged Shōgen to read Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, Shunryū Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Philip Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen, Huston Smith’s The Religions of Man and many of the writings of Alan Watts and D.T. Suzuki. Thus began a love of Eastern religion and philosophy that continues to this day. During this period Shōgen spent time in the Religious Studies Department at Cal State Northridge, California, where he furthered his studies of religion, existentialism, and Buddhism.

Shōgen remained a “closet-intellectual-Buddhist” for decades. On his 50th birthday, during a camping trip in Big Sur, he read an article in Tricycle magazine celebrating the anniversary of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. Shōgen realized he needed to deepen his meditation practice and look for a teacher. In October of 1999 he found his way to the Zen Center of Los Angeles and became a student of Roshi Egyoku Nakao. He received Jukai in 2005, Tokudo in 2012, Denkai in 2016, was empowered as a Dharma Holder in April of 2019 and received Dharma Transmission on December 14, 2019.

Sensei Shōgen has led the SLO Zen Circle for over 17 years. He also leads a prison sangha at the California Men’s Colony, where inmates meet weekly for service, meditation, and Dharma teachings.  He recently retired from service as a hospice chaplain. He is a member of the White Plum Asanga, the Zen Peacemakers, the American Zen Teachers Association, and an associate member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.

Active in the local interfaith community, Shōgen is a member of the San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association and the group Opening Doors of Interfaith Understanding.

Shōgen lives in Los Osos, California, with his wife, Karla.