Save the Date: April 25th, 9:30-5pm@RMC -Xuefeng and The Last Word of Zen with David Weinstein

When Xuefeng was the cook at Deshan’s place, Deshan came down to eat before the meal
signal had sounded. Xuefeng asked him where he was going and Deshan turned around and
returned to his room, without saying a word. Later Xuefeng was told that the teacher, Deshan,
didn’t know the ‘Last word’ of Zen.

What is the last word of Zen? The last word in most English dictionaries is ‘zyzzyva’ which is
the name of a kind of weevil often found in palms. The last word of Zen would be the last word
that could be said about Zen. The definitive word, the word beyond which no other words
would add anything. How is it that Xuefeng was told his teacher didn’t know what that last,
definitive word was? We will be exploring the journey of Xuefeng and ourselves, from thinking
his teacher didn’t know the last word of Zen to responding this way to a question about his
teachers: Xuefeng was asked, “When you visited your teacher, what was it that you attained
that put an end to your search?” Xuefeng said, “I went with empty hands and I returned with
empty hands.” If only we could live our lives more with empty hands. Knowing what the last
word of Zen is can help with that.

Fee: $65.members & $85.non-members
Registrar: Vickie Miller –

About Urban Retreats

The Urban Retreat format is a user friendly, easily approachable way of participating in a
meditation retreat. Starting at 9:30 we will have three 25 minute periods of meditation with a
break in between each. Then we will explore the ‘random meditation’ of having tea and
conversation together as we compare field notes about our experience with the koan. Then we
will have a two hour break for lunch, bring your own or explore one of the fine restaurants in
Rockridge. In the afternoon we will meditate, hang out with another related koan and have a
conversation about our experience, ending at 5:00 pm. There will be opportunities for private
conversations about your meditation practice available.

The retreat will be limited to 16 people to preserve an intimate atmosphere for sharing deeply what arises in meditation.

Registration coming soon

Fee: $65 members & $85 non-members
Registrar: Vickie Miller –

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