Relaxing into the River of Joy Daylong Retreat – April 6

Relaxing into the River of Joy: a Daylong Retreat
with Koji Acquaviva
Saturday, April 6, 9am – 5pm CT
In-person only

In this daylong retreat we will forge a connection with the joy and ease which must fuel our practice if we’re to awaken to wisdom and compassion. Practices will be tailored to increase relaxation which in turn helps us want to practice more and also helps stabilize the mind for insight. Participants will have the freedom to explore a variety of meditation postures, prioritizing ease and comfort. Though the schedule is robust, the periods of meditation will be a bit shorter than usual in an attempt to keep our minds and bodys refreshed throughout the day.

There is a lot of literature from all eras of the Zen tradition which encourage neglecting one’s own well-being or comfort while aspiring for Buddhahood. In the early tradition from India, however, equanimous dispassion is said to have calmness and happiness as its forebears. Dogen Zenji himself said, 

“Difficult though it may be to break our bones and crush our marrow, the most
difficult thing is to make our mind balanced. Difficult though it may be to keep
the precepts and maintain pure conduct, the most difficult thing is to make our
physical conduct balanced.” 
(Shobogenzo Gakudo Yojinshu)

The retreat will include a dharma talk, guided practice in breath awareness, mantra chanting, and visualization. Participants will share a silent lunch, prepared by Koji.

If you are interested in reading more about Koji’s River of Joy retreats click here.

Koji Acquaviva is a Soto Zen priest. He began practicing Zen at the age of twenty at the San Francisco Zen Center where he was a resident and staff member for ten years. He co-founded the Mid City Zen Center in New Orleans, Louisiana and served regularly as visiting teacher at the Austin Zen Center. As a queer and neurodivergent person who trained rather traditionally, Koji makes his best effort to identify and confront the ways Buddhism is taught which re-inscribe harm for members of marginalized communities. In addition to Soto Zen, he’s studied Vedanta, Hatha Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism in residential practice centers. His primary interest is encouraging meditators to feel empowered to develop their own syncretic practice paths, availing themselves to the most potent methods for their temperament and needs. Koji is a member of the teacher ryo at Clouds.

Clouds in Water relies on a Gift Economics Model of resource transparency, suggested sliding scale tiers and no set fees in order to balance financial sustainability, the Buddhist practice of generosity, justice and equity. Clouds in Water is a community supported temple, relying primarily on the donations and class fees that our sangha offers.

Sliding Scale (All are welcome. No one will be turned away for lack of funds)

  • Level 1: $175 (covers teacher payments, and Clouds admin/staffing, and makes it possible for more people to attend who cannot afford the full amount)
  • Level 2: $125 (covers teacher payments and Clouds admin/staffing)
  • Level 3: $75 (covers Clouds admin/staffing)
  • Your Level: You choose the amount. No one is turned away due to inability to pay.

“We know in our hearts that there is a different way to be, a different way to live. Our generosity with one another is indeed resistance to the greed and fear that oppresses us. We provide for one another out of love for each other and love for ourselves. When we give, we acknowledge that all beings want to be happy.”
-Jacoby Ballard

Online registration ends 04/03/2024.

If you wish to register after 04/03/2024 please contact the sesshin coordinator at  Please note that you may not get an immediate response.