Mindfulness Retreats

The Mindfulness Retreat

The Zen Mindfulness Retreat offers the opportunity for an extended period of practice. At a retreat, we separate ourselves from our daily affairs in order to sink deeply into mindful practice, free to transcend the background chatter of our busy minds. These retreats follow the style and format initiated by Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B. (Ko-un Rōshi). Formal procedures are observed. We practice together but we do not interact. Silence is observed throughout the retreat with the exception of the opening and closing meals, private interviews with the teacher, and the question and answer periods. A brief mindfulness talk is given each morning by Randy Wolbert Sensei and a brief question/answer period is conducted each afternoon by Marsha’s senior Zen students.


The Retreat consists of four daily blocks of sitting: early morning, late morning, afternoon and evening. Each block is broken up into periods of 25 minutes of sitting. There is a 5 minute period of walking mindfulness between each period of sitting. Private interviews with the teachers are held during blocks of sitting. There is a rest period after each block of sitting and a daily work period. Mindfulness practice periods of extended walking and mindful dance are interspersed within sitting periods. It is assumed that everyone will participate fully in the daily cycle unless prior arrangements have been made.

Sangha Founder

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. Rōshi
Dr. Linehan has studied Spiritual Direction under the guidance of Rev. Tilden Edwards and Gerald May, M.D. and Christian Contemplation under the personal guidance of Fr. Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B., Koun Rōshi a Benedictine Monk and a Zen master. She formally began Zen practice in 1986 as a student of Fr. Willigis Jaeger Rōshi and in 2002 as a student of Fr. Pat Hawk Rōshi (1942-2012). She has translated aspects of both Zen and Contemplative practices into behaviorally specific instructions for mindfulness practice that can be taught to clients in psychotherapy. She received Dharma Transmission as a Zen Master in the Diamond Sangha (of the Harada-Yasutani tradition (Sanbo-Kyodan-School) from Pat Hawk in April, 2012.  She was confirmed as a Zen Master in the Empty Cloud (Leere Wolke) Sangha by Willigis Jaeger in June, 2012.

Retreat Teacher

Randy Wolbert MSW, Sensei
Randy Wolbert first joined Behavioral Tech in 1999 as a contractual trainer; in 2015, he transitioned to a full-time role as Trainer and Consultant. Randy has trained and consulted throughout the United States and Canada and been involved with several large-scale system implementations of DBT.  Randy is a long time Zen Student of Marsha Linehan Ph.D. Rōshi and has been doing additional Koan Study with Fr. Greg Mayers Rōshi.  He was appointed a Zen teacher in the Empty Cloud Sangha by Willigis Jaeger Rōshi in 2016 and his appointment was confirmed by Marsha Linehan in April of 2018.He has been involved in attending, assisting with, and leading retreats in the US, Germany, and Chile.

Mindfulness Retreats (Zen Sesshins) are run by the Empty Cloud Sangha and are open to Human Service Professionals and Students. Priority is given to returning retreat attendees. Visit www.emptycloudsangha.org to learn more or contact info@emptycloudsangha.org to be added to the waiting list.