Zen retreat in the Pyrenees with Michel Dubois


Michel Genko Dubois has practiced Zen since 1978. In 2007, he received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) authorization to teach Zen, from Genpo Merzel Roshi and Inka (Final Seal of Approval) from Bernie Tetsugen Glassman Roshi. He has also studied with Maezumi Roshi and Deshimaru Roshi. He has received as well the teachings of several Tibetan lamas, such as Chhoje Tulku Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Anam Thubten Rinpoche.

Michel Dubois is a member and a teacher of the Zen Peacemakers, an association founded by Bernie Glassman to unite Zen Buddhist practice, social action, and work for peace. He is also the cofounder of the “L’Un Est L’Autre” (One is the Other) humanitarian organization, which distributes meals to the needy in Paris. 

He currently teaches Zen at the Dana Zen Center at Montreuil, suburban Paris, and regularly leads retreats in France and Catalonia, Spain.

Michel Dubois

How to recognize our emotions, how to welcome them and fully embrace them? Far from being obstacles to meditation and practice, emotions are the very fuel of our existence. To suppress them is to choke our own life, to solidify ourselves and to diminish our ability to genuinely communicate with others. During the retreat, we shall apply ourselves to recognize our emotions, specially the five poisons: anger, greed, ignorance, envy and pride. We shall look at them as koans. Thus, in this practice, we embrace them, become one with them and let go of duality that separate us from them. Free from separation, we can fully step into awareness and be who we are: the display, the manifestation—the very life of the Awakened One.

 We will use particularly the Heart Sutra, which invites us to fully realize that emotions and ourselves are empty of nature, as well as the liturgy of the Gate of Sweet Nectar or Kan Ro Man, which invites us to touch the hungry spirits within us to feed them and liberate them.

The silent retreat or sesshin will start every day at 6.30am. It will include 8 hours of daily meditation, sitting and walking, teachings (Teisho), private interviews with the teacher and samu (mindful work). The emphasis will be on continuous practice—no separation between formal sitting / walking practice and all the aspects of daily life: work, communication, and relationships.

This retreat is open only to people who have had a specific interview with the teacher. The number of participants is limited to 14.

The cost is €200. It includes lodging, meals, from July 24th until August 3th, as well as transportation cost for the teacher. You can pay by money transfer to our bank account. We expect your payment within two weeks following your registration. Following the ancient Buddhist tradition, the teacher support is provided solely by voluntary donations given directly by students at the retreat.


The retreat will start March 21 at 6 pm. It will take place at Ksanti zendo, on the estate of Les Gavatxes situated in Alta Garrotxa, a nature reserve in the Spanish Pyrenees, 17 miles north of the city of Olot and less than 3 miles from the small town of Beget.

Local transportation

There is a direct bus connection from Figueras, Girona or Barcelona to Castellfollit de la Roca. You will be picked up at Castellfollit de la Roca.