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Butoh: the crucible of the body and mind- Retreat with vangeline at Zen Mountain Monastery

Butoh: The Crucible of Body and Mind

With Vangeline


May 12 - 14, 2017

Register now

How comfortable can we allow ourselves to be in our body? How deeply are we willing to plumb our own depths, to reveal our true face in the mirror?

Developed in post-World War II Japan, Butoh is a performance form characterized by the deep investigation of impermanence, authentic expression, and letting go. Butoh as a body practice is about “revealing” rather than “showing.” In the same way that we reveal the mind to ourselves through single-pointed concentration in zazen, in Butoh, we reveal our mind through repetition and physical engagement, transforming our shadow and unveiling something truly authentic and often startling. And because Butoh is not about “showing,” it is also not about judging what we’ve been shown. Together in movement led by acclaimed Butoh performer and interpreter Vangeline, you’ll experience a unique chance to explore new territory.

Vangeline’s Butoh classes incorporate Japanese Butoh, Bio-energetics, core energetics, elements of Noguchi gymnastics, and guided imagery to offer a high-energy workshop adapted to each group’s level of physical fitness.

No previous experience is required.

Visit Vangeline’s website for more information, including videos (this one‘s our favorite) and more. And check out this illuminating interview with Vangeline from the Artists Forum.

Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee, there are options

Photo credit: Maki Shinagawa

About the Teacher



The Mountains and Rivers Order

The Mountains and Rivers Order (MRO) is a Western Zen Buddhist lineage established by the late John Daido Loori Roshi and dedicated to sharing the dharma as it has been passed down, generation to generation, since the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Although the MRO is distinctly American, much of the training, liturgy, and practice forms used in the Order come from the tradition of Zen as it evolved in ancient China and Japan. Daido Roshi trained with Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center of Los Angeles and received dharma transmission from him. Because Maezumi Roshi was a lineage holder within the  Soto school of Zen, and had received Inka (seal of approval) from two Rinzai teachers, training and practice in the MRO draws from both these traditions.

The MRO takes its name from Zen Master Eihei Dogen’s “Mountains and Rivers Sutra,” a favorite teaching of Daido Roshi’s–one that he returned to again and again. With Zen Mountain Monastery (ZMM), the seat of the Order, based at the foot of a mountain and the junction of two rivers, the name Mountains and Rivers Order takes on added significance.


Arrival registration: 5-6pm

Beginning instruction / orientation / meditation: 7:30 - 9pm



Wake up: 4:30am

Zazen meditation + morning liturgy: 5 - 6:30am (two 35 minute periods of sitting meditation with walking meditation in the middle)

7am - breakfast

8:15am - 9:45am - caretaking (everyone gets assigned something to do like helping in the kitchen, or cleaning, or outdoor work) so that as many people can participate in the retreat as possible and we practice "working meditation" together)

10 - 12:30pm -- retreat session

12:30 - lunch

1-2pm -- cleanup and rest

2-5pm -- retreat session

5-6pm -- break

6pm - supper

7:30-9pm -- evening zazen



wake up: 6:15

breakfast: 6:45am

caretaking: 7:45-8:45am

morning liturgy service: 9 am

zazen: 9:30 - 11am

Dharma talk by one of the teachers: 11-12

lunch: noon