Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi

Silent Zen Retreat

16 t/m 22 March 2020
Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi & Vicara Roshi

Want to feel ‘zen’ again? In our hectic lives and dynamic jobs, it can be hard to stay in touch with our natural inner peace. Seven days of being silent will help you step out of the rapids of constant mental chatter and enter into a deeper layer of relaxation and awareness. This silent Zen retreat, led by international Zen teacher Jun Po Denis Kelly and his wife Vicara Roshi, offers a great chance to return to a state of balance.

As a spiritual path, Zen leads you to a direct connection with your essence. Rekindling this sense of connection with yourself, encountering inner peace, will enable you to reconnect with your life, your work and the people around you from a deeper place in yourself.

About the teachers

The guidance provided by Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi and Vicara Mary Connelly Roshi is always lighthearted and full of humor. Both will help you gain more clarity about meditation and how the mind works.

Jun Po is a modern Roshi, a Zen master who inspires people to bring their direct awareness of pure consciousness into their daily lives. Before encountering Zen, Jun Po was leading a very wild life. In his book ‘A heart blown open’, he relates the story of his turbulent youth and how he was on the run from the law. After studying Rinzai Zen intensively, he designed a simple yet powerful dialogue structure called the Mondo Zen Koan Process, which is based on a combination of old spiritual texts and koans from the East with modern psychological insights from the West.

Jun Po will be leading this Silent Zen Retreat together with Vicara Mary Connelly, the first woman to receive Inka transmission from Jun Po in the Rinzai Zen lineage.

Beginner’s mind

Are you unfamiliar with zazen, the sitting meditation in the Zen tradition? Or do you have only a little experience with any kind of meditation? Don’t let that stop you from participating in this powerful silent retreat. And don’t be deterred by the black clothing we will be wearing during this week. That is just an ancient tradition to avoid any unnecessary distractions. Reducing the distractions from the outside world helps you get a new perspective on your own mind and a deeper understanding of its mechanisms. The silence itself will teach you a lot, because at your core, you are silence, too.


In our seven days together, sitting meditation will be alternated with walking meditation, movement meditation (Qi Gong and yoga) and meditation in action. The daily Dharma lectures will go into questions such as: How does the mind work? What is suffering? What is happiness and what is the cause of an absence of happiness? You will also have a private conversation (Dokusan) with the teacher where you can ask personal questions related to your meditation practice.

About Zen

Zen is a philosophy and way of life, not a religion. The purpose of Zen is to get insight in, and reconnect to, your ‘original nature’. Zen Buddhism has its origin in Buddhism, which spread from India to China. There it was mixed with Taoism and was called Chan. In the 6th century, Chan was brought to Japan, where it became known as Zen. Two different schools developed here: Rinzai Zen and Soto Zen, both of which focus on concentrating the mind. Rinzai Zen makes use of koans to support your progress on your path towards a liberated way of life.

What others say

“This silent zen retreat was my third retreat at Venwoude.  I highly recommend this silent zen retreat, and also the impeccable container that the facilities and community of Venwoude provide.  Upon arriving at Venwoude, I sense and feel the integrity of the space which then allows me to relax, and to quickly dive deeply into the silence.   I feel safe and know I will be well cared for during my stay and all the little details of daily life will be capably looked after.  I look forward to returning for another exquisite experience next year.  Much gratitude!” – Dr Don McIver DC (Canada)

“Thank you, the whole Venwoude team, cooks, cleaners, everybody…from the bottom of my heart that you made it possible for me to sit in silence with a wonderful group of people and two great teachers…The care and love were visible in the subtle details, like the beautiful flower arrangements, a clean towel when I needed one, a big bowl of fruit, lovely food and the beautiful landscape all around us.” – Marianne Moliere.

“IT WAS A MOST WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE – with Jun Po and Vicara, and as well with all the helping hands of this great place Venwoude. Thank you all very much! Mit besten Grüßen / kind regards” – Dr. Günther Endres

“I found their place to be completely restful and inspiring. The container in which you are held is so deep and so trustworthy that your ability to open and to relax and to really surface and work on the issue that you need to do, couldn’t be held more pristine than it is there.” –  Diane Hamilton

Practical information

Silent Zen Retreat: 16 t/m 22 March 2020

Costs: € 997,- for the retreat including dormitory based sleeping

One person bedroom: € 247,-

Two person bedroom: € 188,-

Register here


Your Name

Your Email

Your Phone number



Your Address

Your Message