refers to a style of dharma practice that places a premium on the mobilization of the unconscious, an often overlooked feature of intensified meditation. When worked with skillfully, these mobilized energies can help us see into hidden forms of resistance that create so many complications in our formal practice and in our lives as a whole. More importantly though, this kind of inner work helps us to access the deeper healing and compassionate currents flowing through us all.
Based on more than two decades of exploration, Windhorse Zen Community now offers Zentensive Workshops and Retreats®, programs specifically designed for those who feel drawn to exploring the depths of the rich intersection between meditation and Western psychology. Zentensives offer fully accredited training for mental health professionals interested in discovering more about the ways the unconscious functions and reveals itself. Equally so, these programs offer dharma practitioners an opportunity to gain insight into these often ignored or misunderstood dynamics as they arise in the midst of meditation—dynamics that inevitably exert a profound influence on our practice and relationships.
The fact is, the more deeply and directly we enter into these realms, the clearer it becomes that we do not, in fact, have two minds, one “psychological” and one “spiritual.” Instead we find that these largely artificial distinctions fall away, and a more encompassing paradigm for deep levels of change emerges. Based on this unfolding, Zentensives offer an experientially-based approach to the unconscious, one guided by our moment-to-moment internal experience.
About Lawson Sachter
Lawson Sachter is both a Zen teacher, sanctioned and ordained by Roshi Philip Kapleau, and also a licensed psychotherapist. He is president and co-director of Windhorse Zen Community, and spiritual director of the Clear Water Zen Center. Since starting Zen practice in 1969, Lawson has participated in, or conducted, over 200 meditation retreats.
His training in ISTDP began in the late 1980’s; for 25 years he attended the annual Metapsychology Symposiums led by Dr. Habib Davanloo in Montreal. His experience leading Zentensives — accredited retreats for psychotherapists — has afforded him the opportunity of working with a wide range of mental health professionals.
About Sunya Kjolhede
Sunya Kjolhede began her Zen training with Roshi Philip Kapleau in 1970, initially working for a few years on staff at the Rochester Zen Center. Over the decades she continued her sesshin and koan training as a mother. In 1994, Roshi Kapleau sanctioned her as a dharma heir, and she took ordination vows the following year. Over the years, Sunya has also worked as a hospital chaplain, and as a storyteller. She has conducted numerous meditation retreats and workshops in the United States, Mexico, and abroad. She has contributed to various publications, including The Hidden Lamp and One Bird, One Stone.
Along with her other teaching activities, Sunya travels regularly to Poland where she serves as spiritual director of the Bodhidharma Zen Center, a Polish Zen community founded by Philip Kapleau in 1975.
Lawson and Sunya are married and have four children and five grandchildren.
Zentensive Advisory Board
Lawson David Sachter, LCSW
Raina Bays, RN BSN
Jeffrey M. George, Psy.D.
Simon Goldberg, PhD
Jeffrey Goldsmith, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A.
Esther Rosen, PhD