Big Heart Retreats

Let me respectfully remind you,

Life and death are of supreme importance,

Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost...

So begins the verse that has been repeated every evening for centuries by Zen practitioners the world over.  

Opportunities to meet face-to-face and ‘go deep’ with a Master of Genpo Roshi’s caliber at the height of his powers are exceedingly rare and precious. His 50 years of Zen experience is available to you now, but not forever. 

Moving, in his words, into this last chapter of his life, Genpo Roshi is more intent than ever on transmitting the fruits of his lifetime of practice and teaching to those who are deeply committed to completely awakening.  The most opportune situation for him to do that is intensive in-person small group retreats in a relaxed setting where there is time and space to explore and resolve the great matter of life and death.

These days the place where Genpo Roshi can most effectively offer this opportunity is in Big Heart Retreats where he is living, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and the time that works best is a week when he and a group of three to seven participants can engage together in the deepest reflection and also relax together over shared meals and time enjoying the beautiful setting overlooking the sea and the natural wonders of the Island.

Roshi is currently scheduling a limited number of Big Heart Retreats for 2024.

Here's a video we took of the view from Genpo Roshi's place. The Big Heart in-person retreats take place in a beautiful house on the water at Manini Bay you see in the distance. Click it to watch.

Check the listings below for the next available opportunity. As these events are carefully curated please contact Bruce Lambson for details and registration information.

All the rooms at the retreat house are filled for the February 9-15 retreat. You may still attend but will have to stay at a local hotel. Contact Bruce for details.

Upcoming Big Heart Retreats

  • No upcoming events

General Information about the Big Heart Retreats

Big Heart Retreats are open to the public. No previous Zen experience is necessary although it is helpful.


The donation for the teacher and teachings for these retreats is $8,000 per person.


The retreat is conducted In-Person at a large beachfront house on Manini Bay in the town of Captain Cook on the Big Island of Hawaii. Participants fly in and out of Kona-Kailua Airport (KOA). Typically participants arrive at least one day before the retreat begins. Local transportation, airport pick up and drop-off, will be provided. During the registration process we will discuss your needs and schedule in detail.


There are three private bedrooms with private baths available at the retreat house. Two have King Beds and one has a Queen bed. These are available on a first come / first serve basis. The rooms are available for 6 nights starting the night before the retreat begins. Check out is by noon on the day after the retreat. The room rental to stay at the retreat house for 6 nights is $1,650 including taxes and fees.

If these rooms are booked, or if you prefer to stay nearby we can recommend several options.


All meals are included in the basic retreat fee. All participants, whether on site at the retreat house or staying in a nearby hotel will be provided 3 meals a day and snacks as part of the retreat at no extra cost. We have an onsite chef who will take care to accommodate your dietary restrictions and preferences. During the registration process we will discuss your needs in detail.


Registration is handled on an individual basis.  Contact Bruce Lambson here to Register

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