Blue Heron Zen Community Kyol Che


In Korea, Kyol Che is a traditional intensive practice that takes place annually during the winter and summer. The name means “tight dharma” or “coming together.” Originally it was undertaken by monks and nuns doing intensive practice in mountain temples.

Here, in our busy and complex American lives, most of us cannot afford either the time or money to participate in this traditional practice model. But in our version of Kyol Che, we take the same principle to heart so that we, too, can intensify our practice and help others for a 90-day period within the reality of our own circumstances.

Although we are not living in a rigorous monastic setting, we can still find a way to investigate this matter completely and find our before-thinking original nature with total assurance and dedication. And we can also support each other in our efforts.

Even if your schedule does not permit your attending each and every retreat and Sunday morning practice session, if you are motivated to revitalize your practice, please contact me. Together, we can work out a plan to make it work for you. All talks will be recorded and made available to participants.

— Zen Master Jeong Ji

This year’s Kyol Che (2023)

Kyol Che Begins: Sunday, January 22nd, 9 am pacific time
First Retreat: Friday–Sunday, January 27 – 29
Second Retreat: Friday–Sunday, March 17 – 19
Third Retreat: Friday–Sunday, April 21 – 23
Last Day of Kyol Che: Sunday, April 23rd, 9:00 am pacific time

Weekly Kyol Che meetings will occur on Sunday mornings with hybrid online and in person practice.

Kyol Che Teacher:

Zen Master Jeong Ji

Area of Focus:

The title of this year’s Kyol Che is Zen’s Women Ancestors. Who are they, and what wisdom and compassion teachings have they extended to us over the millenia? And why is this important? From the mythological to the unnamed and little-known, we’ll be learning from these women ancestors and weaving them into the great, rich history of Zen.

How to Participate:

Each year before Kyol Che begins, we provide links to pages to make four commitments and submit a Kyol Che contract to the teacher who is leading Kyol Che.

Kyol Che Workshops

Workshops will be held every other Sunday morning, beginning February 5 and running through April 16.  Each workshop session we’ll be presenting women teachers in a somewhat chronological and geographic manner, starting with India, then moving to China and Korea. We aim to make these sessions as interactive and immersive as possible.

For those that are interested we’ll be offering an extra session on Tuesday evenings which will be devoted to conversations about poetry and prose from the current era and teachers being studied.