atelier couture

Sewing the Kesa - fully completed

Sewing a kesa, the same garment the Buddha wore 2500 years ago, is an important practice in Sôtô Zen Buddhism. The kesa is made of various pieces of fabric from many sources and forms a long robe which covers the body. This tradition has been transmitted from master to disciple through the ages in a spirit of profound faith and austerity.
Kesas also exist in a smaller form, the rakusu. This smaller version is worn throughout the day to remind the practitioner of his or her commitment to Zen Buddhism.

During sewing weekends, participants learn the method of assemly of these garments; peaceful work which requires a great deal of concentration, and develops patience and perserverance. Each stitch is like a grain of rice, the project a rice field, and the teaching of monks and nuns is the water irrigated to nourish the crops. 

All the necessary materials are made available: black fabric, needles, thread, silk, etc.

The course will take place on October 17th and 18th. Arrival is the evening before (meal at 8.30 pm). Departure is after lunch on the last day.

All health safety rules are in place at Ryumonji. They will be communicated to you when you register.
We ask you to make a personal commitment to respect them. This is in order to take care of our health as well as that of others.


The person responsible for sewing during the weekend - Zen nun Anette Seigyo Beck - studied Kesa sewing for many years. She has received direction from senior monks and nuns and today is able to transmit that knowledge anew.


(All inclusive)
Complete retreat : 122 € / 178 € (students, unemployed)
Annual membership fee : 15€
You can rent bedclothes for 6€, or 2€ per item.



  • Please bring a kimono or loose fitting dark clothing to wear while practicing Zazen, and a zafu (black or brown meditation cushion).
  • You will need a bowl, a spoon, a fork or chopsticks, and a large dark coloured napkin in which to wrap your bowl.
  • You´ll also need a small white napkin. Please bring bed sheets and a pillowcase ( NO SLEEPING BAG PLEASE ).
  • Work clothes and footwear, and sandals or flipflops which can be easily removed are also necessary
  • If you don´t have any of the above mentioned items, you may borrow them from the temple.

Please note: mobile phones must be completely switched off throughout the monastery. It is possible to make phone calls in the car parks.


By Train
If you plan to arrive at the station at Ingwiller, please confirm your arrival time with our office.

Ingwiller/Temple transport costs : 6€
03 88 89 26 02 (du mardi au dimanche, 9h30-12h).

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